“Truckers are often the first line of defense against human trafficking,” Senator Klobuchar says.
According to Truckers Against Trafficking, a nonprofit group created to fight this illegal activity, truckers are responsible for reporting more than 500 human trafficking cases, which potentially saved nearly 1,000 victims.
Klobuchar, however, feels even more can be done.
Her new bill would bring additional resources to the mix and would fund new training programs for truckers. The bill would also create a Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinator to work alongside the trucking industry.
Truckers Michael and Beverly Monahan say human trafficking happens more often than you might think.
“It’s very rampant,” Beverly says. “A lot of this is going on in rest areas and truck stops.”
Beverly has been trucking for six years and has heard several stories about human trafficking, but says she’s never been approached by anyone herself. Her husband Michael however, a 35-year trucking veteran, has experienced it multiple times.
“I’ve had them knock on my door and they’ll ask you if you’re lonely or if you want company, or something like that,” Monahan says.
Their current employer, Dart Transit Company, requires all new truckers to go through human trafficking training as part of their hiring process. Truckers are also required to view a 25-minute video put out by Truckers Against Trafficking.
Senator Klobuchar is hoping to see other companies nationwide adopt the same requirements. She’s fairly confident her bill will pass, considering it has already been approved in committee and currently has the support of some Republican senators.