WASHINGTON — The United States, Mexico and Canada are joining forces with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for the annual three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative.
The initiative is designed to raise awareness and is an outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, along with the signs to look for and what drivers should do if they suspect someone is being trafficked.
In the U.S., the initiative is slated for Jan. 9-13.
In Canada, it’s scheduled for Feb. 20-24.
Mexico’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is scheduled for March 13-17.
According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit.
Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America.
During the three-day outreach and awareness initiatives, CVSA jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will note human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submit that data to the Alliance.
“As the Alliance launches this new annual human trafficking awareness and outreach campaign, we’re pleased to have all three countries of this North American organization participate in the effort to eradicate the crime of human trafficking,” said former CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
For the 2022 North America-wide Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative:
- 35 jurisdictions participated.
- 2,460 individual law enforcement officers/troopers/inspectors participated.
- There were 163 reported events (possible indicators of human trafficking or documented cases).
- 13,274 wallet cards were distributed.
- 6,355 window decals were distributed.
- 1,818 presentations were delivered.
- There were 640 media contacts.
To find out what jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are doing to increase human trafficking awareness, drivers are urged to contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety in their area.
Some of the warning signs that a person may be the victim of trafficking are: Appearing malnourished; showing signs of physical injuries and abuse; avoiding eye contact, social interaction and authority figures/law enforcement; seeming to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction; or appearing destitute/lacking personal possessions.
“Human trafficking takes place on every mode of transportation in America – and we must change that,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “I ask all transportation professionals to join this effort, and it’s equally important for commuters and travelers to be empowered to recognize and report signs of human trafficking anywhere it happens in our transportation systems.”
Some of the other ways in which the Department of Transportation (DOT) is working to combat human trafficking include:
- The DOT is a member of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, a cabinet-level entity chaired by the Secretary of State to coordinate Federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons.
- The Department’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative comprises more than 500 transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to maximize their collective impact in combating human trafficking across all modes of transportation. Stakeholders can sign the TLAHT pledge by clicking here.
- DOT continues to underscore the important role transportation ministries have in combating human trafficking through its participation in multilateral organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group, and the International Transport Forum.
For more information about the department’s efforts to end human trafficking, click here.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.