NACS (National Association of Convenience
Stores) has formed a partnership with the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s
(DHS) Blue Campaign to help combat human
Through the alliance, NACS will provide the
DHS Blue Campaign’s training and awareness
materials – including posters, handouts and other
items – to its members free of charge.
The DHS Blue Campaign raises public awareness about human trafficking, leveraging partnerships to educate the public to recognize human
trafficking and report suspected instances. The
Blue Campaign also offers training to law enforcement and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, and to protect victims and bring suspected traffickers to justice.
According to DHS officials, truck stops,
travel centers and gas stations near highways tend to see frequent use by traffickers
and their victims. DHS officials say because of
their longer hours, public restrooms and ease
of access, convenience stores have an ability
to help human trafficking victims. It is suggested operators post materials in rest rooms
or near doors that provide victims with phone
numbers they can call to get help, as well as
in employee breakrooms and offices to promote awareness.
“Convenience stores serve 160 million customers a day in every community across the
country 24 hours a day,” says Jeff Lenard, VP of
strategic industry initiatives at NACS, based in
Alexandria, Va. “Our industry is well equipped
to share messages with customers so they can
collectively create the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program in their communities.
We are proud to work with the Department of
Homeland Security on this important issue.”