Human Trafficking A Concern As Truckers Get Trained To Help Stop Growing Crisis In America

Human trafficking is the second highest revenue generating criminal activity in the world. Each year it generates over $32 billion for those who are involved in enslaving others. The toll is actually much higher though, as 99 percent of those who are sold into the modern day slavery will never escape. Although some of those who are sold end up as laborers, more than half are women and girls who end up in the sex slave trade. Now the nation’s truckers are getting involved to stop the problem, while state governments are taking action to put an end to this modern day slavery.

Yahoo News reported that the trucking industry is getting involved in trying to stop human trafficking in the United States. Ohio State Highway Patrol Captain Mike Crispen said that those traveling on our nation’s highways see things all the time that others don’t.

“People driving down the road see stuff all the time that the rest of us aren’t seeing.”

Crispin is from Ohio, a state that had 289 human trafficking cases in 2015. Nationwide, the National Trafficking Resource Center reported 14,588 cases of sex trafficking since 2007. Ohio recently passed a law that said all truck drivers who receive their driver’s license in Ohio must take a training course in human trafficking so they know what it is and then how to stop it.

As previously reported in Inquisitr, human trafficking came to the forefront at the Super Bowl when Denver Bronco Ryan Murphy was rounded up as part of a sting. Murphy was detained for questioning and then later released. The incident highlighted a larger problem worldwide because the same thing happened at a recent sporting event related to South Africa. South Africa is the human trafficking capital of the world, and their problems have been largely ignored. The problem in South Africa is a difficult one to solve because all levels of society are involved.

Several governors are also getting involved in the issue of human trafficking, and many states are trying to stop it. The Newton Daily News reported that the Iowa legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk for signature. The Iowa house passed the human trafficking bill by a vote of 98-0 while the senate passed the bill by 50-0.

The bill, if signed into law, will create an office within the Department of Public Safety to specifically handle the issue of human trafficking. Since it is not an appropriations bill, it will not require the hiring of additional staff or the appropriation of money. Governor Terry Brandstad is expected to sign the bill into law.

The bill calls for the commissioner of Public Safety to appoint a coordinator to staff the office. Personnel for the office will be determined by the funding allocated. Senator Chaz Allen, who helped sponsor the bill, said that it would give the legislature the ability to send the funding to a specific area to fight human trafficking.

“We can now divert resources to this. Human trafficking is new to all of us. We’ll get better with this (as legislators) as it goes along.”

Iowa Department of Justice senior investigator Michael Ferjak, who recently spoke at an event in Newton, said that for a victim of assault, the assault can be a life changing event. For a victim of human trafficking, the victim is often assaulted 15 – 20 times per day. He praised those who attended the speaking engagement and for forming the “Newton Says No to Human Trafficking” to stop human trafficking in the community.

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]