July 9, 2020
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) more than doubled a goal staked out earlier this year to get 100 pledges in 100 days to raise awareness of human trafficking in the transportation sector.
Over 200 companies and organizations answered the call for the effort that DOT Secretary Elaine Chao made in January. Those that have signed on to the effort “are joining the Department to ensure that America’s transportation systems are not hijacked to facilitate human trafficking,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on May 7. “These companies are on the frontlines of helping to ensure the safety of our traveling public.” A goal of the effort is to get one million employees trained to help fight the crime, according to DOT.
The federal government considers human trafficking “modern-day slavery, affecting nearly 25 million adults and children in the United States and worldwide. Victims are of every age, race, gender, background, citizenship and immigration status. Some are trafficked within their own communities, while others are transported to new locations using America’s roadways, airways, railways and waterways.”
The list of signatories includes over 180 airports and airlines, 104 transit agencies, 33 motor carriers, 9 railways, 9 ports, 49 state departments of transportation, 8 states, and 14 cities. They include the American Trucking Associations, American Association of Port Authorities, J.B. Hunt, U.S. Xpress, UPS Freight, CN Railway and Atlas Air Worldwide.
To read the full article by John Gallagher on American Shipper: Click Here
August 15, 2019
Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking Releases Final Report
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a final rule that permanently bans drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.
“This is an important step in the Department-wide campaign to keep America’s roadways, railways, airways, and waterways from being used for human trafficking,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Following President Trump’s signature of the “No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act,” the FMCSA has issued this new rule to prohibit an individual from operating a CMV for life if that individual uses a CMV in committing a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking. The new rule revises the list of offenses permanently disqualifying individuals from operating a CMV for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.
“The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to help detect and report human trafficking, and thankfully professional drivers’ efforts often bring an end to these tragic situations. Sadly, however, some human trafficking activities are facilitated by the use of commercial trucks or buses,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior. If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking—that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”
Deterring human trafficking in America’s commercial transportation industry is just one step in the Trump Administration’s commitment to fighting against these abhorrent crimes. President Trump has brought to bear the full resources of the federal government to working against human trafficking, protecting victims, and prosecuting traffickers.
To read the full briefing from the U.S. Department of Transportation: Click Here
May 30, 2019
There are required signs posted in airports, train stations and highway rest stops throughout the state to raise awareness of the National Human Trafficking Hotline. We hit the road to see if the message was getting through to travelers.
At our local airport as well as rest stops and train stations across the state, people told us they never noticed the signs.
“It doesn’t have anything to draw attention to it,” said Donna VanBramer a seasonal resident. “I have to say I probably would ignore that sign. And I usually read everything. I was a teacher for 30 years.”
“I have stopped at multiple rest areas across I-75, and I had never noticed the sign,” said anti-trafficking advocate Yaro Garcia, and she is always on high alert. Garcia has counseled trafficking survivors for more than a decade and works with law enforcement as an advocate. “This does not look like a sign meant to help someone in trouble,” she said.
In 2016 state legislators passed a bill requiring the signs be created and posted. Current Congressional Representative Ross Spano co-sponsored the bill when he was a state lawmaker.
To read the story by Jack Lowenstein on Wink News: Click Here