Port Tampa Bay launches campaign to assist human trafficking victims

In observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Port Tampa Bay is taking steps to prevent human trafficking by joining the Not Alone campaign, a nationwide campaign dedicated to encouraging victims of human trafficking to seek help.   

The Not Alone campaign was conceived and launched by Rebekah Covington, a survivor of human trafficking and the Corporate Relations Manager at BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking ). 

“When people are trafficked, they feel isolated and with an inability to leave the situation,” explained Covington. “That’s why we prioritized working with people who have lived experienced of trafficking throughout the creation of this campaign. We want people experiencing a trafficking situation to see signage that speaks directly to them and gives individuals hope that they are not alone -- that there is a way out of whatever terrible situation they are in.” 

Thanks to Covington’s vision, Not Alone is one of the first national campaigns to focus primarily on victim and survivor self-identification rather than general public awareness. As part of the campaign, Port Tampa Bay will be adding multi-lingual signage across our properties. In addition, Port Tampa Bay will be making BEST’s Ports to Freedom human trafficking prevention training available to employees throughout the month of January.  

Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President & CEO stated, “We are doubling down on our commitment to ending human trafficking. By displaying these posters throughout our port, we aim to make sure that anyone who sees them knows that they can get help. Our entire port community believes everyone deserves a life of dignity and is committed to raising awareness of and preventing human trafficking.” 

 “Campaigns like Not Alone and the online training courses that BEST provides have been proven to increase reporting of trafficking.” said BEST’s CEO, Dr. Mar Brettmann. “We are absolutely thrilled to see Port Tampa Bay make such a positive difference for their community.”  

The multilingual Not Alone posters and BEST’s online training directs individuals to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Anyone can call 1 (888) 373-7888, text 233733 (BEFREE), or chat online at https://humantraffickinghotline.org/. The Hotline is free and available 24/7/365. It is available in English and Spanish, in addition to 200 other languages.  

BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking) is a Seattle-based nonprofit that educates employers to prevent human trafficking and creates pathways to employment for survivors. Founded in 2012, BEST has trained more than 11,000 employers in the hotel, aviation, maritime, and transportation industries to recognize and respond to potential cases of human trafficking at their workplaces.  To learn more, visit? https://www.bestalliance.org/training.html

Port Tampa Bay is Florida's largest port, supporting nearly 85,000 jobs and generating nearly $18 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.