BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Members of the trucking industry joined Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh in the fight against human trafficking.
A day-long training session Thursday gave truckers an idea of what to look for.
The Freedom Drivers Project pairs truckers against trafficking with law enforcement to stop human slavery.
Since January 2018, Maryland has embarked on a number of initiatives to combat human trafficking.
Frosh joined Truckers Against Trafficking organization to talk about how to help rescue these victims.
“This is literally a life-saving organization,” Frosh said.
The project is a mobile exhibit used to educate truckers. It includes descriptions and possessions of victims rescued- a compact mirror belonging to a victim enticed by the promise of a modeling career, a cell phone from a victim who was sold at conventions and casinos, a prescription bottle from a victim whose mother sold her at 12-years-old to a group of bikers and even more horrific stories.
“She had been beaten, raped, her whole body was burned by instruments heated on the RV stove, branded and starved,” said Kylla Lanier, with Truckers Against Trafficking.
The victim was rescued when her captors pulled into a truck stop and a trucker against trafficking alerted police. They were trained, equipped and empowered to recognize human trafficking.
165 cases of human trafficking were reported in Maryland just last year. The state’s location in the I-95 corridor makes it a prime spot for human trafficking.
“It’s mostly young women, but there are young men and all kinds of folks involved, taken as victims for human trafficking, labor trafficking,” Frosh said.
The Maryland Motor Truck Association is a partner in this campaign as well.
This year, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a law classifying human trafficking as a violent crime.