We often find ourselves unconscious of an issue that is highly significant until the topic makes national headlines. This could easily be said about the subject of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the practice of modern slavery in the form of forced labor or commercial sex. Globally, there are currently 20.9 million victims of this atrocious crime and it has been reported in all 50 states of the U.S.
Within the last decade, there has been an increased recognition that truckers could be of tremendous help in aiding the fight against human trafficking. Due to truck stops being in more secluded locations, these places have become a prime target; however, simple awareness from others in the trucking industry can begin to make a difference and even save lives. As an individual company, educating Melton’s flatbed drivers about the significance of this issue is just one step we can take towards ending human trafficking.
Organizations such as Truckers Against Trafficking, Polaris Project, and specialized state organizations are all committed to making a large impact in changing the course of this crime. At Melton, we fully support these organizations and their impactful efforts and strive to inform drivers of this issue.
Merely having awareness of the signs of human trafficking can aid in changing the course of this rising crime. Examples of the signs of human trafficking include: appearance of physical or sexual abuse, scripted or rehearsed answers to casual questions, fearful or anxious demeanor, or even just recognition of youth presence at a truck stop.
If someone notices these signs, it is important to mentally capture the details of the encounter that led them to their conclusions. Additionally, gathering as much personal information as possible during the initial conversation could lead law enforcement in the best direction possible.
To report human trafficking, there are numerous resources available to contact including:
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-373-7888
Local police department
Homeland Security: 1-866-347-2423
Report Online: www.ice.gov/tips