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Anti-Human Trafficking Billboards Launch in Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ – At a press conference this morning, Cindy McCain, Polaris Project, and TRUST announced a yearlong campaign to combat human trafficking with billboards throughout the Phoenix region. Clear Channel Outdoor is donating use of their ad space across all 50 of their digital displays in the Phoenix valley to promote the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline. On average, the campaign will be displayed on approximately 15 of Clear Channel Outdoor’s displays at one time. During each four-week interval of the campaign, the billboards will receive an estimated average of 27 million impressions.

Since Polaris Project began operating the NHTRC hotline in December 2007, the anti-trafficking organization has taken over 97,000 calls nationally, including more than 890 from Arizona. Polaris has received reports of 194 potential cases of human trafficking in Arizona. The billboard campaign is aimed at reaching trafficking victims who are unaware that resources exist to help them, while also raising awareness that human trafficking is a problem in Arizona.

“This is an exciting step toward raising awareness about human trafficking in Arizona.  Thank you to Clear Channel for a contribution that will make a difference in people’s lives,” said Cindy McCain.

“We know human trafficking is rampant across the United States, including here in Phoenix. These billboards will alert victims of sex and labor trafficking that there is a lifeline for them to receive help, so they can escape their trafficking situation and get the services they need to rebuild their lives. The billboards also remind community members that they play a critical role in providing the hotline with tips and helping to put a stop to trafficking in Arizona,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project.  “Polaris Project is grateful to Cindy McCain for her indispensable work around this issue, organizations like TRUST that are enhancing the collective effort in Arizona, and Clear Channel Outdoor for their commitment to fighting human trafficking throughout the country.”

“These billboards not only provide victims a resource to reach out for help, but they call community attention to the issue of modern day slavery,” said Katie Resendiz, Program Director at TRUST. “In Arizona, one of our most important tools to fight the commercial sexual exploitation of children is an outspoken community that rejects this crime. We are pleased to be partnering with Mrs. McCain, Polaris Project, and Clear Channel Outdoor as we work together for change.”

“Clear Channel Outdoor has a longstanding history of leveraging its unique position as a highly visible and unskippable medium to aid causes, like Polaris Project, that share our goal of keeping our children, families and communities safe,” said Diane Veres, Clear Channel Outdoor Branch Manager for Arizona. “Reaching and engaging people with life-saving safety messages through our digital media when they are away from home is an important tool in helping prevent the next child from being taken.  We believe these messages could be pivotal in rescuing victims and bringing their traffickers to justice.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center, operated by Polaris Project, is a confidential, toll-free lifeline for victims of human trafficking to reach out for help and for people to anonymously request information or report tips of suspected human trafficking. People can call 1-888-373-7888 or send a text to BeFree (233733), 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The hotline is available in more than 180 languages through the use of interpreters, including in Spanish through bilingual staff. The billboard campaign in Phoenix mirrors other initiatives launched courtesy of Clear Channel Outdoor, including in Las Vegas in October 2013 and Baltimore in February 2013. 

Mrs. McCain and her husband, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), supported Arizona State University’s launch of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Mrs. McCain is participating in efforts at the Institute to fight human trafficking through a partnership with Polaris Project to strengthen anti-trafficking legislation in Arizona and other mountain states. 

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