All That's Trucking

CNN Highlights Trucking's Role in Fighting Human Trafficking

Blog Commentary by Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

April 12, 2017

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Inland Kenworth will auction off a special KW T680 "Everyday Heroes" truck in June and donate the proceeds to Truckers Against Trafficking. Here the truck is on display at FlowBelow's booth at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting earlier this year. Photo: Deborah Lockridge
Inland Kenworth will auction off a special KW T680 "Everyday Heroes" truck in June and donate the proceeds to Truckers Against Trafficking. Here the truck is on display at FlowBelow's booth at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting earlier this year. Photo: Deborah Lockridge

CNN tells the story of human trafficking through the eyes of a trucker who was responsible for the liberation of a 20-year-old abused and tortured sex slave in the piece, "Eyes of the highways: Raising a 'trucker army' for trafficking fight."

Kevin Kimmel, CNN reports, didn't really know much about human trafficking, but he noticed a suspicious-looking RV with black curtains at a fuel stop. When he saw a man knock on the door, then a glimpse of a young female inside before the RV started rocking, he called the local authorities.

"He later saw on the news that the woman he spotted was a 20-year-old sex trafficking victim," CNN reports. "She had been lured away from her home in Iowa, held against her will and subjected to a gruesome ordeal of torture, sexual assault and forced prostitution." The couple involved eventually were sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of the nonprofit group Truckers Against Trafficking and the help of trucking industry sponsors to raise awareness of the issue, truckers like Kimmel "are increasingly seen as operating on the front line in the fight against human trafficking," as CNN notes.

Human trafficking, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, is "a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his (or) her will."

As Kendis Paris of Truckers Against Trafficking tells CNN, most sex trafficking is arranged online and takes place in hotels and motels -- but some of these victims are sold in the likes of truckstops, like the one Kimmel discovered. That's why truckers have a major role to play.

Ohio even requires those in its state-regulated professional truck driver training programs to complete human trafficking awareness training before getting their CDLs, CNN notes. And a bill in Texas would require anyone looking to get a CDL to go through a human trafficking awareness course. Similar legislation is in the pipeline in Kansas and Arkansas, Paris told CNN.

But it doesn't take mandatory training to get involved, and after you read the CNN article, you'll probably want to. Visit Truckers Against Trafficking's website at www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org to learn about online training and other resources.

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Author Bio

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Deborah Lockridge

Editor-in-Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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