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IRC Miami trains Uber drivers to recognize trafficking ahead of Super Bowl

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Miami served as the primary non-law enforcement service provider for federal human trafficking operations in the lead up to Super Bowl LIV. In partnership with Attorney General Ashley Moody and Uber, the IRC in Miami’s Caridad Mas-Batchelor—who coordinates the South Florida Human Trafficking Taskforce—delivered numerous trainings on how to recognize and report human trafficking for Uber drivers across the tri-county area.

A woman stands on a stage in front of several Uber drivers, an IRC presentation is shown on the screen in the background.

The IRC's Caridad Mas-Batchelor delivers trafficking awareness training to Uber drivers in partnership with Florida's Attorney General, Ashley Moody.

“Partnerships and collaborations are vital to our fight against human trafficking,” said Caridad. “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to reach Uber’s Florida network through these information sessions. As Uber drivers, they are on the front lines in terms of identifying and reporting potential cases. Being aware and vigilant is the most crucial thing Floridians can do to protect those who are vulnerable to trafficking.”

WATCH: Uber, International Rescue Committee team up to recognize and report sex trafficking

The IRC was one of the first organizations in the nation to receive federal funding to combat human trafficking after legislation was passed in 2003. Since then, the IRC’s Miami team has trained more than 12,000 professionals in the tri-county area to identify and report potential trafficking cases and provided services to more than 530 foreign-born and domestic survivors of human trafficking.

“Uber drivers need to recognize the types of trafficking, from sex to labor trafficking, and know that not every victim of trafficking looks the same.”

The IRC’s partnership with Uber was highlighted in several Florida media outlets ahead of Super Bowl LIV, including NBC 6, Fox 29 and WPTV. “Uber drivers need to recognize the types of trafficking, from sex to labor trafficking, and know that not every victim of trafficking looks the same,” Caridad shared with WPTV. “We do that because if we give a set description then that's what they're looking for. We're doing a disservice to our community if we create a framework of what they should be looking for."

Florida ranks third in number of cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, with 767 cases reported in 2018. To report suspected human trafficking or to obtain resources for victims, please call 1-888-373-7888; text “BeFree” (233733), or live chat at HumanTraffickingHotline.org. The toll-free phone, SMS text lines, and online chat function are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is available in English, Spanish, Creole, or in more than 200 additional languages. The National Hotline is not managed by law enforcement, immigration or an investigative agency. Correspondence with the National Hotline is confidential and you may request assistance or report a tip anonymously.

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Florida and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.

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