Secretary of State Michael Watson has launched a new initiative aimed at curbing human trafficking in the state of Magnolia.
According to Watson, the Mississippi Businesses Against Trafficking (MBAT) will function as a training program where businesses can access videos and materials needed to teach employees how to find the signs that indicate a human trafficking situation in order to take immediate action to take.
Business partners involved in MBAT include the Dutch Group, the Mississippi State Board of Massage Therapy, the Mississippi Braves, and the Mississippi Hotel Lodging Association. Watson emphasized the value of partnering with companies that span different sectors, as human trafficking can happen anywhere.
“It takes us everywhere. It takes us to a hotel. He takes us to a gas station. It takes us to a massage parlor. It leads us to a Braves game. No matter where you are, if you see a little sign that says, “Wait a minute, something’s wrong. I can tell. I can make a difference,'” said Watson. “It takes everything. We will continue to expand this in our state.”
Watson, a father of three, explained why the issue of human trafficking is personal to him and should concern everyone with children. The Secretary believes that MBAT will not only slow the cruelty of human trafficking but also save lives in Mississippi.
“Every single person that is formed. Any employee, any of these educated people who sees something and then reports it, you can save a life – you will save a life. This program will save lives in Mississippi,” Watson said. “As a parent, I can’t tell you how important this is. All of us who have children understand the importance of this issue.”
For all companies looking to partner with MBAT, click here.