New campaign reaches truck and motorcoach drivers at rest areas, travel centers, bus stations, and other places where human trafficking may occur
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently launched its new human trafficking awareness campaign — “Your Roads, Their Freedom.” The campaign seeks to give the nation’s 8.7 million commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers the information needed to identify and report suspected human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a heinous crime, and it has no place in the transportation industry,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “But the hard-hitting reality is that our nation’s transportation systems are exploited by human traffickers every day, and FMCSA is working to help stop it.”
FMCSA is the federal leader in educating the CMV industry about road safety. Because human trafficking poses a threat to transportation safety, FMCSA is uniquely positioned to educate CMV drivers on ways to protect U.S. roadways against criminals perpetrating this crime. Additionally, FMCSA requires states and the District of Columbia to permanently ban drivers convicted of trafficking from operating a CMV, which requires a commercial driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit.
Globally, an estimated 28 million people are currently subjected to human trafficking, and the crime occurs in every state of the U.S. As part of DOT’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) awareness campaign, the “Your Roads, Their Freedom” campaign will build on other federal efforts against trafficking, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign and FMCSA’s grant programs, which awarded millions in funding to support state counter-trafficking efforts.
Through the “Your Roads, Their Freedom” campaign and other federal agency efforts, DOT aims “to empower America’s transportation workforce, which is millions strong, to be the eyes and ears of our collective effort,” as highlighted by U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg in his remarks made to the President’s Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking in February of this year.
Truckers made over 1,400 calls to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline from December 2007 through June 2016, and 452 potential trafficking cases were identified. Truckers reported this information in real time, enabling quicker responses by law enforcement.
While the “Your Roads, Their Freedom” campaign will be conducted nationwide, there will be a heightened emphasis across states with the highest reported number of human trafficking cases or a high volume of driver traffic. These states include California, Florida, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina among others.
For more information on the “Your Roads, Their Freedom” campaign, along with shareable resources, visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/stophumantrafficking.
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Original article published by FMCSA