Join the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Missouri

Be Alert for Signs of Human Trafficking

JEFFERSON CITY – January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, with the national awareness day on Jan. 11. The month is dedicated to raising awareness of human trafficking and educating individuals on how to stop this crime.

In January 2000, the United States made a commitment to fight human trafficking both domestically and abroad through the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In 2018, MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna signed the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge joining efforts with other transportation leaders across the country. Through this pledge, MoDOT committed itself to providing specialized training to employees on how to identify the common indicators of human trafficking and what to do when trafficking is suspected in Missouri.

Missouri is a transportation hub for the United States, with large amounts of freight moving across the state’s highways every day. Common places like rest stops, gas stations, convenient stores and hotels are prime spots for the practice of human trafficking. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 240 human trafficking cases reported in Missouri in 2021, involving 327 victims. Nationally, these numbers jump to over 10,000 cases involving over 16,000 victims.

“MoDOT staff are in a unique position of having an everyday presence on the state’s roadways. By arming our employees with the knowledge of what to look for and what actions to take, thousands of watchful eyes are added to the fight against human trafficking,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. “We invite all Missourians to join us in taking action by learning the warning signs, and if you see something, say something by calling the national hotline.”

Some of the warning signs of potential trafficking situation include: signs of physical abuse, signs of branding tattoos, not in possession of their money or identification, body language indicating they don’t want to be there or seem uncomfortable, lack of eye contact with anyone except their trafficker, or not allowed to speak for self.

If you suspect someone is being forced to engage in any activity from which they can’t leave—whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work or other activity—call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). Information is available online at Please save the National Human Trafficking Hotline number as a contact in your cellphone: 1-888-373-7888. If someone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

For more information about MoDOT’s efforts to “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking,” go to



For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit

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