The DOT Committee Against Human Trafficking held its first public meeting on this past Thursday, Dec. 6th, 2018. The 15-person Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation this past October and is comprised of leaders of organizations that fight modern slavery within the transportation industry.
“You’ve got to train the industry. We speak the language of the market sector we’re going after,” Kendis Paris, Executive Director of Truckers Against Trafficking and a member of the committee said. “We have been so impressed by the leadership, primarily at the trucking industry, when it comes to fighting human trafficking in transportation.”
Paris also stressed the importance of partnering with state law enforcement. Currently, about 40 states have adopted strategies from the Truckers Against Trafficking’s training program, including handing out informational wallet cards to drivers.
The committee points out that most professional truckers spend more time on the road than regular law enforcement and should be aware of all suspicious activity at rest stops.
Associate Director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Megan Cutter, said that transportation is a vital part of trafficking because victims need to go from place to place. She explained that long-distance buses and airplanes are two additional common modes of transport that traffickers often use.