Hidden Horrors: Fighting Human Trafficking part two
The International Labor Organization estimates human trafficking is a $150 billion global criminal enterprise.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies continue to fight human trafficking. Other groups are joining the fight as well, including a non-profit trucking organization.
"Truck drivers are the eyes and ears of our nation's highways," said Al Dear, Director of Training for Miller Transportation Services.
Truckers Against Trafficking is a group of truck drivers dedicated to fighting human trafficking.
The organization teaches truck drivers what to look for and how to report suspicious situations. Al Dear with Miller Transportation Services trains new employees in a orientation class in Jackson .
"We have approximately 450 drivers. Of those 450 drivers, we've trained 390 with Truckers Against Trafficking," said Dear.
Evera Mitchell is one of the drivers that has gone through the training program.
"In 23 years I've seen a lot of young women running in and out of the truck stops," said Mitchell. "To me it's a safety issue for the drivers and for the young ladies. It's not safe for them to be out in the truck stops."
There are 2.4 million commercial driver's license holders in the United States. Traveling to every corner of the country gives them a unique opportunity to spot trafficking where others might not.
"We're able to see and spot things that a normal person won't see," said Mitchell.
Truckers Against Trafficking uses video training sessions to educate drivers about the issue. Truckers are also given a hotline to call where they are asked to report any suspicious behavior.
"If we can get the information out there to these guys about what to look for and who to notify, we can save so many lives of these young children," said Dear.
"it's a real good program if you ask me," said Mitchell.
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, contact local law enforcement or the FBI right away.
You can also contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. That number is 1-888-373-7888.