The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division is taking part in a three-day initiative to look at the nationwide human trafficking problem.

The patrol’s Superintendent Colonel Eric T. Olson says that commercial vehicle drivers, motor carriers and law enforcement are often the first line of defense against human trafficking, knowing what to look for and how to respond to the situations.

By definition, human trafficking is illegal exploitation of a person through force, fraud or coercion and take on the forms of sex trafficking, forced labor or domestic servitude and is not specific to age, race, gender, location and/or socioeconomic backgrounds.

The three-day initiative will begin on Human Trafficking Awareness Day which is next Tuesday, the 11th.

 

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Public asked to be alert for signs of human trafficking in January and throughout the year

 JEFFERSON CITY—January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, marking the anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The Missouri Department of Transportation has joined forces with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement to combat the crime of human trafficking in the Show-Me State.

“Human trafficking remains a growing concern in Missouri, particularly along the interstate corridors,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. “That makes uniting the efforts of everyone in the transportation sector of vital importance in combatting this rapidly expanding criminal enterprise.”

In 2018, Director McKenna signed the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge, committing MoDOT to providing specialized training to employees about the common indicators of human trafficking and how to report potential cases while raising public awareness of human trafficking issues impacting our state and nation.

“Education and public awareness are just two things we do to help eliminate human trafficking,” McKenna said. “Because our jobs carry us to all four corners of the state, MoDOT, the Highway Patrol and our commercial trucker allies serve as the eyes to recognize and the voice to report suspicious activity along one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country.”

MoDOT has provided public information about human trafficking and continues to train employees about the common indicators of human trafficking and how to report potential cases.

If you suspect someone is being forced to engage in any activity from which they can’t leave—whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work or other activity—call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). Information is available online at humantraffickinghotline.org.

For more information about MoDOT’s efforts to “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking,” go to modot.org/fighthumantrafficking or contact the MoDOT Human Resources office at 573-526-7644.

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