Story By GLADYS JOHNSON
Alliance to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking
The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which takes place 4–7 May in Houston, and United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT) have announced a partnership to increase awareness of human trafficking.
UAHT’s mission is to end human trafficking. UAHT increases awareness by training law enforcement, healthcare workers and business owners about how to identify and combat human trafficking in the greater Houston community.
“Since 1969, OTC has made a significant impact on the Houston economy,” said OTC 2015 Chairman Ed Stokes. “However, we realize that our influence needs to extend beyond boosting business for the local restaurants and hotels that our attendees and exhibitors visit. As such, we are partnering with United Against Human Trafficking and look forward to supporting their efforts to increase awareness about the important issue of human trafficking.”
“We are excited to partner with the OTC,” adds Carole Moffatt, Chair of the Board of UAHT. “Our participation will enable us to reach people from 130 countries and educate a broad audience on the subject of human trafficking.”
UAHT has trained OTC staff on human trafficking issues and identification as part of the partnership. The organization will also work with OTC to include information and messages in OTC communications before and during the conference. In addition, OTC has provided on-site presence for UAHT so that they will have the opportunity to educate conference attendees one-on-one regarding the issue.
“Solving the human trafficking problem will require the involvement of more than just our law enforcement personnel. The entire community needs to help. We are happy to see OTC being proactive and taking steps with their vendors to help us put an end to this crime,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
The ongoing partnership will begin this year and is part of OTC’s commitment to serving the greater Houston community, which also includes activities such as the Energy Education Institute, a daylong workshop for teachers grades 4–12 and a STEM Event for high school students ages 15 or older, and the Annual OTC Dinner which has donated a total of $925,000 to charitable organizations over the past four years.
“This important partnership opens the door for us to face a complex issue and work together to improve our communities,” added Stokes.