Putting the Brakes on Human Trafficking
April 18, 2019
According to the American Bus Association (ABA), which has partnered with Busing on the Lookout, here are some signs for bus drivers to be looking for on runs:
1. Human traffickers use bus terminals and bus stops as recruiting areas when they’re looking for vulnerable people to exploit, primarily minors and young adults.
2. Human traffickers use busing (not just commercial busing) to transport their victims to locations where they’ll be sold.
3. Human traffickers are counting on busing employees to be ignorant of the signs to look for and the questions to ask that would help to spot victims in transit.
How to Train Your Team
1. Organizations like Polaris, associations like ABA, and the DOT offer training resources and videos (see sidebar for links and more information). Use their hotlines as a resource for any questions you may have.
2. Laminate cards with the telltale signs (refer to sidebar on page 90) of how to spot a victim for your drivers.
3. Never confront the victim or trafficker; report suspicious activity to the authorities, your company, and/or trafficking hotlines immediately. Hotline tips—submitted online, through text, or by a call—can be anonymous. If you fear you might be erroneously calling out a client, don’t worry. Hotline operators are trained to help you with your concerns before alerting authorities.
4. Don’t think that because a child is in school that they aren’t being trafficked. Traffickers recruit from schools, and some victims continue to attend classes during the day while they are being groomed or trafficked at night.
5. Numerous professions are touched by trafficking, including hospitality, restaurants, construction, health care, landscaping, and arts and entertainment. Not all trafficking is sex-related.
6. Hotels of all classes are affected. Work with hotel personnel, meeting planners, and DMCs to recognize the signs.
7. Partner with law enforcement and government agencies to facilitate the investigation of human trafficking cases discovered through our industry.