Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced a new annual program intended to fight human trafficking in the U.S. and Canada.

The three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI) will take place from January 11, 2022 through January 13, 2022 in the U.S. In Canada, the HTAI will take place February 22, 2022 through February 24, 2022.

The purpose of the new CVSA program is to educate truck drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked.

During the three-day awareness initiatives, CVSA jurisdictions will note human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submit that data to the Alliance, the agency said.

“Human traffickers often use roadways as the mode of transportation for transporting their victims,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Since our roadways are the ‘workplace’ for truck drivers, motorcoach drivers and commercial motor vehicle inspectors, they are in a prime position to make a difference in helping to identify potential victims of human trafficking.”

“Identification, and ultimately prevention, starts with education,” Capt. Broers added. “Through CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, we aim to equip drivers and inspectors with the tools they need to proactively serve on the frontline in our effort to end human trafficking.”

As part of the initiative, he CVSA is highlighting a hand gesture that can be used to signal that a person is a victim of violence or human trafficking and in need of help. You can see the hand gesture demonstrated in the video below.

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