DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced the creation of a statewide alliance with Iowa’s business community to end human trafficking in the state on Thursday. Several of the state’s largest trade organizations have already joined the Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking (IBAT) coalition.
Membership in IBAT is open to any business or nonprofit organization that operates in the State of Iowa and shares a commitment to taking steps to promote awareness of human trafficking and the Iowa Safe at Home program. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of human trafficking and other violent crimes. Both IBAT and Safe at Home are administered by Secretary Pate’s office.
“My office is the business portal for the State of Iowa, and we’ll be inviting every business in the state to join this effort,” Pate said. “We are going to build a statewide, grassroots coalition that will unite with one common mission: to make Iowa a trafficking-free state.”
The announcement by Pate was made during a ceremony on Thursday at the State Capitol with Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery.
“We are grateful to have been invited to collaborate with the Secretary of State in the design and creation of the IBAT program,” George Belitsos, chair of the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery, said. “Secretary Pate is to be commended for launching IBAT and giving all of Iowa’s businesses the opportunity to join the fight to end modern slavery and human trafficking in our state.”
Businesses that join IBAT are asked to complete two tasks each year: “Learn Something” and “Do Something”.
Businesses will commit to “Learn Something” by educating employees, customers, and industry partners on the signs and impact of human trafficking in Iowa. Businesses can “Do Something” by empowering more people to take action to prevent human trafficking in Iowa.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, and it must end,” Pate said. “It affects thousands of people across the U.S., and it happens right here in Iowa. Whether it’s a large corporation or a mom and pop store on Main Street with one employee, every business can join, and every business can make a difference.”
Businesses can learn more about IBAT and apply for membership at IBAT.Iowa.gov.
Businesses and organizations that have already joined IBAT include:
- American Council of Engineering Companies Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa, Inc.
- Atlantic Bottling Company
- Beeline and Blue
- Cemen Tech
- Community Bankers of Iowa
- Community Foundation for Inspired Giving
- Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping
- Greater Des Moines Partnership
- Home Builders Association of Iowa
- Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa
- Iowa Association of Business and Industry
- Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
- Iowa Automobile Dealers Association
- Iowa Bankers Association
- Iowa Biotechnology Association
- Iowa Business Council
- Iowa Engineering Society
- Iowa Good Roads Association
- Iowa Grocery Industry Association
- Iowa Hospital Association
- Iowa Hotel & Lodging Association
- Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery
- Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center
- Iowa Restaurant Association
- Iowa Society of Association Executives
- Iowa Water Well Association
- Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association
- Jackson Mfg. Inc
- Live Now Consign & Designs
- Mercy College of Health Sciences
- Pate Asphalt Systems Company
- Society of Land Surveyors of Iowa
- St. Vincent de Paul
- Two Tone Creative