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

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 23:59:39-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Experts say Florida is one of the leading states in the country when it comes to human trafficking. And with the Super Bowl around the corner, they expect the illegal practice to pick up. Uber and the International Rescue Committee teamed up to teach drivers how to recognize sex trafficking and report it.

Since September Dan Barnett has been driving for Uber.

"I'm a night person so I often work from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.," he said.

He says he meets all kinds of people in his travels.

"I have incredible conversations, some very funny conversations and deep heart to heart conversations," he said.

Barnett plans to work for Uber during the Super Bowl. Friday afternoon he attended an information session held by Uber and the International Rescue Committee on how to spot Human Trafficking during the Super Bowl. Caridad Mas Bachelor says the sunshine state ranks third in the nation for human trafficking.

"We're located very close to the Caribbean, we have two international airports, we have a port in Miami and we have a lot of activities in our community that bring in a lot of tourism," she said.

She says, the driver needs to recognize the types of trafficking from sex to labor trafficking to knowing not every victim to trafficker looks the same.

"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 create a framework of what they should be looking for," she said.

Back on the streets of Lake Worth Beach Barnett says, he feels he's in a better position to help someone in need.

"I was hoping to learn things that would help me do that and learn how to approach a person who's being trafficked," he said.

Friday's session wasn't the first of its kind in South Florida. Uber and International Rescue Committee have held similar sessions in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.