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Women’s Trucking Federation continues human trafficking awareness campaign


A new 'rig' wrapped in human trafficking awareness messaging was unveiled in the Greater Sudbury community of Lively last week.

A Northern Academy of Transportation Training truck was unveiled wrapped in human trafficking awareness messaging on June 14/23 as part of a Know Human Trafficking event stop in Greater Sudbury. (Amanda Hicks/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Since 2019, the Women's Trucking Federation of Canada has been behind the wheel of an awareness campaign called Know Human Trafficking and is now offering a free online course to educate truckers and the public on the signs of human trafficking.

"Our goal is to wrap 50 trailers with the human trafficking awareness message by the end of this year and spread them out through local communities across Canada," said Shelley Walker, CEO of the federation.

Officials with the campaign said human trafficking is a crime often committed in the shadows and is far less talked about than it should be – but having more trucks on the road with blatant messaging will help bring the issue to light.

"What's better than a rolling billboard?” said Walker.

"These trucks move all over, and let's face it, how often are you stuck in traffic and there's always a truck in front of you or beside you, so it’s a great way to get that messagae out."

The federation is also promoting an online course to educate truckers and the general public to recognize the signs of human trafficking. They have partnered with the Northern Academy of Transportation Training – all students, trainers and employees will now have to take the mandatory course.

"Knowing the signs, much like what's displayed on the trailer,” said Brian Pattison, the general manager of the academy.

"Signs of people present that are being trafficked. What to know, what to look for, common signs of traffickers. It’s a brief overview, but knowledge people aren’t aware of."

Officials said a big part of the training is dispelling misconceptions and getting into the statistics.

Statistics that Sudbury And Area Victim Services staff said some find surprising.

"The average age of entry into human trafficking is 13 years old," said Hannah York, with victim services.

"That affects our youth a lot. That shocks a lot of people."

The campaign said if all 184 truck training schools in Ontario make this training mandatory, the impact could be great.

Organizers of last week’s event also said it is important to know that there are resources available.

Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline’s confidential service is available 24/7 by phone and online to connect victims and survivors with social services or law enforcement. They also accept tips from the public.

For more information, follow the campaign on Twitter Top Stories

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