On December 11th the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario ( TTSAO) held their membership meeting. This meeting was the annual Christmas social for the Association but took on a more formal agenda with presentations on Truckers Against Trafficking and agenda on TTSAO issues. The meeting included a conference presentation by Gerald Carroll and updates by the Ministry of Transportation on initiatives for 2020.
The major presentation was on human trafficking by Heathery Fry and Jim Dimech showing us who commits these crimes and what those in the transportation industry can do to help. The formulas used by traffickers to command their victims was talked about and everyday culture is unknowingly promoting the lifestyle through games and social media.
Statistics presented by Heather Fry showed there are 40 million victims globally, with acts happening 20 times per day to thousands of children. The trafficking industry is a $150 billion dollar industry and affects all countries big and small. Human trafficking is a crime of power and includes sexual conduct, rape, fraud, employee abuse, and threats to family and friends. Many victims don’t even know they are being victimized.
Traffickers use main roads and corridors to move victims and goods from location to location and this is why the focus is on help from those in the transportation industry and energy fields as they work regularly on those main corridors. Truckers have saved lives of victims by reporting unusual activity such as the call made by Kevin Kimmel that resulted in an arrest of a couple trafficking sex workers and have now been convicted to life behind bars. Since the program began there have been 2432 calls made, 655 cases investigated, 1200 victims saved, and 794,905 people trained.
Truckers Against Trafficking is an organization from the United States but is increasing their focus on Canada. Trafficking has no borders and those small tips do help victims. The organization is asking transport companies, training facilities, and those that travel on a regular basis to take the training course to be aware of the signs of trafficking and report any activity that looks like someone is being abused. Jim Dimech of Praxair Canada talked about how it had become part of the carrier’s training program for all drivers employed by the company. You can learn more about the training and organization at www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org. The TTSAO is encouraging all of their member organizations to have their staff trained and share that training with new students. We all need to do our part in stopping human trafficking and that can be done by making a call when you see suspicious activity.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com