Human Trafficking Awareness Month - How We Can Make A Difference

Jan 21, 2022

In 2021, the U.S. government named January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. In the United States alone, the number of individuals ensnared in the human trafficking industry is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. As professionals in the transportation and logistics industry, we are the eyes and ears of the road and  are strategically positioned to make a identifying and saving potential victims. 

Drivers, be they CDL licensees or traditional automobile drivers, are taught to keep their eyes open and remain vigilant while on the road. However, that vigilance should not stop once a vehicle is in park. Always be aware and on the lookout at gas stations, rest areas, and truck stops, especially along major highways and interstates. Human traffickers often use these locations to conduct business with potential clients of sex trafficking, transfer victims from one “owner” to another, or abduct new victims.

So what can drivers do to identify and report instances of human trafficking?

Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization Ruan is proud to sponsor, has a wide range of resources available on their website, including a comprehensive list of red flags to watch for in parking lots and rest stops. Here are a few potential indicators of human trafficking:

  • Children that, when engaged, are not shy about using explicit language or bragging about sexual activity

  • Potential victims may have signs of branding

  • If a passenger vehicle pulls into the truck parking area of a rest area or truck stop and multiple people (usually females) get out of the vehicle and begin going from truck to truck

  • Any time you hear a suspected victim mentioning that he/she has to make a quota

  • People who seem to have a lack of knowledge of their surroundings or area

  • Someone who appears to have restricted or controlled communication or is unable to speak for her/himself

  • Any time you see a minor engage in a commercial sex act

  • Any time you believe you are witnessing someone under the control of a pimp, regardless of the age or gender of the victim

Should you notice any of these identifiers, immediately call 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Even if you are not sure human trafficking is taking place, it is important to remember that your phone call could potentially save the lives of one or more individuals. If the police investigate and find everything is okay, the only cost is time. If the police are not called and it is an instance of human trafficking, the cost can literally be someone’s life. 

For more information on how you can fight human trafficking, including several training modules and available certifications, visit