The Missouri business community is taking a stand against human trafficking. On Sept. 26, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced the formation of a new business council to help educate companies about this problem and empower them to take action.
During the announcement, which took place at the Missouri Chamber office in Jefferson City, Hawley called human trafficking “modern day slavery.” He said that research shows that many human trafficking patrons are making illegal arrangements during work hours and using work resources.
“Our goal is to help every business in this state take a bold stand against trafficking,” Hawley said. “To say that trafficking will not happen in their business, it will not happen during business hours, it will not happen during business resources.”
His office will soon have training resources, including short videos, available for any business or individual seeking to inform themselves about the signs of human trafficking and what steps they can take.
“We hope that this effort will help equip Missourians all across our state and in every industry and walk of life to better identify and act if they witness possible human trafficking anywhere,” he said.
Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber, said the business community supports this effort.
“We focus on uniting the business community behind a common message and this is one we need to unite behind,” he said. “At the end of the day, if you look at Missouri 2030 and our goals for the future, it’s about making our quality of life better in Missouri for all Missourians. So we are thrilled to join this program.”
Cheryl Norton, president of Missouri American Water, said the education and information about human trafficking will be very helpful at her business.
“I have almost 700 employees who are out every day facing customers and seeing what goes on … and believe me they see a lot,” she said. “I want to give them the tools that they need to understand what they are seeing and be able to act on that.”
Watch highlights from the announcement: