Menu Home

Combatting Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is defined as the brutal trade of individuals for the purpose of forcing labor, sexual labor, and other exploitations.

The number of human trafficking cases in Washington state is increasing rapidly. Native Americans and other people of color are targeted the most. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, approximately 3,500 calls have been received since 2007.

What began as an airport-specific awareness and training effort for the Port expanded over the years to include partners in the county, other local transportation providers, and now jurisdictions across Washington.  In addition to mandated employee training to help spot and stop trafficking, the Port installed 310 signs in the restrooms and passenger loading bridges at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), as well as 20 signs at Port parks, and 10 signs at Fisherman’s Terminal to combat human trafficking. The awareness campaign also includes signage at Salmon Bay Marina, Shilshole Bay, Terminal 90/91, Pier 69, and Marine Maintenance. Groups helping survivors find jobs in Port-related industries also received grants through the Port's South King County Community Impact Fund


The Port collaborates with nonprofits, state, and federal agencies, and key customers and vendors like airlines, airport dining and retail, taxis and TNCs, ocean carriers, intermodal transportation providers, and construction contractors. The Port partnered with Business Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), a Seattle-based nonprofit, to create two online human trafficking prevention courses. One course is for the maritime industry and the other for the aviation industry. Also, the Port Police Department developed its own law enforcement-specific training plan. More than 2,000 employees will complete online or in-person training. You will find BEST's site at 

Ports to Freedom sign
These signs are displayed for those who might be in danger, including in restrooms.

On January 11, 2023 the Port hosted a Human Trafficking survivor speaker, Joyclyn Bell, cofounder of the NW Survivors Alliance (NWSA), and Dr. Mar Brettman, CEO and Executive Director at Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) to discuss what human trafficking, how it happens here, and what you can do to help.

Sign the pledge against human trafficking

Organizations are provided training materials, resources, and are added to our proud list of pledge allies! In 2023, several partners have signed on, including:
  • 1915 KC House
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Express Lounge
  • BF Foods
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • The Center for Wooden Boats
  • Concessions International
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Dufry/Hudson Group
  • HMS Host
  • Holland America Line
  • ISS Facility Services
  • Pallino SeaTac, LLC
  • PrimeFlight Aviation Services
  • Princess Cruises
  • Seabourn
  • SSP America


    Related to Combatting Human Trafficking

    Back to Top