New CVSA human trafficking initiative starts next week in U.S.

Next week, a new three-day initiative targeting human trafficking gets started in the U.S. In Canada, the program is set to start a month later.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is planned for Jan. 11-13 in the U.S. and for Feb. 22-24 in Canada, according to a news release. The initiatives are scheduled to start on the Human Trafficking Awareness Day in each country.

The goal of the initiative is to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime. The outreach efforts will try to make drivers and others aware of the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked.

In preparation for the inaugural Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative in 2022, CVSA is offering human trafficking awareness resources to its membership. It also is working with the Truckers Against Trafficking to distribute wallet cards and window decals.

In addition, during the three-day awareness initiatives, CVSA jurisdictions will note human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submit that data to the CVSA.

To find out what your local jurisdiction is doing to increase awareness of the issue, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your state, province or territory.

“Human traffickers often use roadways as the mode of transportation for transporting their victims,” CVSA president John Broers, captain with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, said in the news release. “Since our roadways are the workplace for truck drivers, motor coach drivers, and commercial motor vehicle inspectors, they are in a prime position to make a difference in helping to identify potential victims of human trafficking.”

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. Quoting the United Nations, the CVSA news release said it occurs in every region of the world, including North America. LL