Monday, June 26, 2023

Secretary Watson Announces Virtual MBAT Summit

JACKSON, Miss. — Secretary of State Michael Watson is pleased to announce a virtual Mississippi Businesses Against Trafficking (MBAT) Summit to be held the morning of July 24, 2023.

In collaboration with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Center for Human Trafficking Research and Training (CHRT), and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) this virtual event will feature leading experts in human trafficking with an emphasis in labor trafficking.

"We are proud to launch our MBAT labor trafficking campaign and know this virtual summit will be the first step in providing Mississippi businesses, entrepreneurs, and charitable organizations the opportunity to learn more about this heinous crime which affects far too many individuals across our state. As always, we thank our friends at MBI, USM, and MSDH for helping spread awareness and educate Mississippians," said Secretary Michael Watson.

The MBAT Summit is open to all MBAT partners and those interested in learning more about how to combat human trafficking in Mississippi. Attendees must register prior to the event. 

"Although there are clear societal advantages to stopping human trafficking, many businesses are unaware that it might occur within their supply chain or within their company. However, human trafficking can take place in any legitimate business or in a number of covert locations. Secretary Watson’s MBAT initiative is essential to the fight against human trafficking in our state. MBAT trainings provide the necessary education on sex trafficking and labor trafficking risk factors and how each business can contribute to a safe workplace for all individuals in Mississippi," said Dr. Kimberly Hogan, Co-Director, CHRT.

July's virtual MBAT Summit will be the third MBAT event held this year. Previous summits were held on the campuses of USM and Jackson State University.

MBAT is a statewide initiative to raise awareness and empower Mississippi businesses to combat human trafficking. It is open to any business, nonprofit organization, or association in the State of Mississippi that is interested in promoting human trafficking awareness both internally and externally. 

Event details:

  • Date: Monday, July 24, 2023
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Location: virtual
  • Registration Link 

For questions regarding the MBAT Summit, please contact or call 601-359-3670.