The Canadian Trucking Alliance is calling on regulators across Canada to expand entry-level truck driving training programs to include lessons on detecting and preventing human trafficking.
Staff has been directed to engage the Council of Ministers responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety and Organization on the issue.
“With the tens of thousands of truck drivers going through training each year to obtain their licenses, it’s perfect place to start having an immediate impact on the number of drivers who are trained to be vigilant and have that extra sets of eyes out on the road to help put an end to human trafficking,” senior vice president – Geoff Wood said in a press release.
Several online training options have already been tailored for truck drivers, ranging from 30 minutes to two hours, the Alliance says, nothing that content covers how drivers can spot the signs of human trafficking, assist victims, and engage law enforcement.
Provincial Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney announced during a September event organized by the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada, that Ontario has already committed to making such training a mandatory topic within its entry-level training.
The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada developed its program with $47,000 in provincial funding and support from the Trucking Human Resources Sector Council. Truckers against Trafficking, which has a separate training program for drivers, first expanded into Canada in 2019.
Ontario alone accounted for 1.6 human trafficking incidents per 100,000 residents in 2016, and 400 – Series highways have been described as hotbeds of trafficking.