Did you know that January has been designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month? Human trafficking is a horrific crime that ruins lives and exploits the most vulnerable – and unfortunately, it’s happening in all 50 states. Further, this form of modern-day slavery utilizes every form of transportation, including roads, railways, waterways, and airways. As professionals in the transportation and logistics industry, it’s our responsibility to fight back. And you can help too! Let’s take a look at how you can take a stand against human trafficking with two key steps: awareness and alertness.

Be Aware

Developing a general understanding of human trafficking and it’s warning signs is the first step you can take to help. While every case is unique, there are several telltale indicators that human trafficking may be taking place, be it sex trafficking or labor trafficking. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Human Trafficking Hotline, here are some key indicators that a person could be a victim:

  • A person appears to be monitored by another person when talking or interacting with others
  • They seem disoriented or confused
  • Someone is fearful, timid, or submissive
  • A person appears to be coached on what to say
  • Someone lives at the place they work or is transported by guards between home and a workplace

These are just a few of the most notable signs. For more extensive lists, visit the Human Trafficking Hotline and Homeland Security websites.

Something to keep in mind: a victim won’t necessarily be walking around in shackles and chains. Human trafficking victims are often bound to their captors by language barriers, blackmail, or lack of the means to survive on their own.

Be Alert

Being informed is the first step to combatting human trafficking. But your knowledge is only valuable when you actively apply it. As you find yourself out and about, stay alert and look for unordinary situations. Be especially vigilant at places like rest stops and motels, as traffickers may use these facilities for illegal activates.

So, what do you do if you observe a situation that appears to indicate human trafficking?

  • Avoid engaging or communicating with the suspected victim or trafficker. This could put them and you in danger.
  • If you believe you have information about a potential case, contact the Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888 or texting HELP to 233733.
  • If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.
The Vital Role of Truck Drivers

Truckers, or Road Warriors, as we like to call them, are the backbone of the logistics industry. And, they are frequently the heroes that call attention to suspicious activity. As mentioned before, traffickers exploit transportation networks such as highways, truck stops, and railyards. Because commercial drivers are frequently traveling these same areas, they have a vital role in the war on trafficking.

We encourage our drivers, and all drivers, to simply be aware and alert. Sometimes, a trucker may be the only person standing in between a person’s freedom or enslavement. For more resources concerning human trafficking awareness, see the links below.

National Human Trafficking Hotline

United States Department of Homeland Security – Blue Campaign

Engage Together: Human Trafficking 101

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