The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) – the alliance of Canada, Mexico, and the USA formed the Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI). HTAI will be held in the USA this year from January 9. to 13.
CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative was organized for the first time last year and lasted for 3 days. This initiative aims to fight against human trafficking and modern slavery. The training includes truck drivers, motor carriers, members of the police, as well as the entire population.
All participants will be presented with all aspects of human trafficking. Additionally, they will receive training on how to recognize the signs that someone is a victim of human trafficking. As part of the training, the steps and measures that need to be taken, when it is noticed that someone is a victim of this criminal act will be explained and presented. Last year’s initiative was very successful, so the organizers, the CVSA Human Trafficking Prevention Program, decided to extend this program to last 5 days.
Each country member of the Alliance will implement the Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative at different times.
The United Nations warns that human trafficking is criminal activity on the rise present on all continents. The victims of this illegal activity are men, women, and children, of all races, nationalities, and all ages. Sadly, every person in the world is a potential target of human traffickers. It is estimated that there are over 50 million slaves in the world today. Human trafficking is present in all 50 US states. It is impossible to determine the exact number of victims in the US, but it is estimated that it is several hundreds of thousands of people.
Human traffickers try in every way to reach people, using force and fraud. They use fake employment agencies and post ads with phony working offers. The criminals sell their victims as sex slaves or forced laborers.
Human trafficking consists of forceful recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of people. Any activity carried out by force, without a person’s consent, for profit is human trafficking and constitutes a criminal offense.
During the HTAI program, truck and motorcoach drivers watch a film in which they hear the experiences of drivers, members of anti-trafficking organizations, and FBI agents. This movie is 13 minutes long. In addition, they learn hand signs that mean the person is a victim of domestic violence, human trafficking, or any other situation in which they need help and protection.
During the 5 days of THAI, wallet cards and window decals are distributed.
CVSA monitors actions and outreach efforts. The results of this year’s CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative will be presented to the public in the summer of 2023.
Last year’s results:
- 35 jurisdictions took part in the program;
- 2,460 program participants were trained in how to recognize victims of human trafficking and how to help them;
- During the program, 163 cases of possible human trafficking were reported or documented;
- More than 13 thousand wallet cards and 6 thousand window decals were distributed to citizens;
- Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative had a presentation on 1818 places;
- 640 contacts were made with representatives of various media houses.
The goal of CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is to reduce human trafficking in North America. The commercial motor vehicle industry is an essential factor in this struggle whose active participation can greatly contribute to CVSA’s Trafficking Awareness Initiative.