- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas attorney general and two professional trucking associations have announced a program to prevent sex trafficking on state highways.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/1S7ntwZ ) reports that on Thursday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Truckers Against Trafficking and the Kansas Motor Carriers Association discussed their partnership to fight sex trafficking and to support victims.

They hope to educate people about human trafficking through a mobile exhibit called the Freedom Drivers Project. One of the items to be displayed in the mobile exhibit is a brass dog tag that a victim was forced to wear after a sex trafficker sold her to a brothel in Nevada. It reads, “Crib No. 3. Ask for” and the victim’s name.

Schmidt says the program focuses on monitoring the state’s highways where some sex trafficking occurs. The attorney general’s office helped two victims of sex trafficking in 2009. By 2015, the number escalated to more than 400 victims.

Motor Carriers executive director Tom Whitaker says observant truck drivers watch out for such crimes and inform law enforcement of problems.

“Truckers and truck stop employees are in a strategic position to report crimes as they are taking place and can help law enforcement in recovering victims and having traffickers arrested,” said Esther Goetsch, coalition build specialist with Truckers Against Trafficking.

Goetsch said warning signs to recognize a trafficking victim include tattoos on the victim’s neck or back to mark who he or she belongs to, victim looking fearful or hanging their heads and a victim being unable to identify where he or she is.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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