WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD) have announced that the bipartisan Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act which was introduced to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector has been signed into law by the President.
“Commercial drivers and truckers are often the first line of defense against human trafficking, yet they don’t always have the tools necessary to help prevent these crimes,” Klobuchar said. “This law will bring us one step closer to equipping and empowering our drivers to help prevent these heinous crimes we’re seeing too often in Minnesota and around the country.”
The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act focuses on the prevention of human trafficking. The bill would designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation and increase outreach and education efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The bill is supported by Truckers Against Trafficking, National District Attorneys Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to combat human trafficking. Last year, the bipartisan Abolish Human Trafficking Act she introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) passed the Senate. The legislation strengthens and reauthorizes key programs that support survivors of human trafficking and provide resources to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials on the front lines of the fight against modern-day slavery. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Act Klobuchar and Cornyn introduced with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) also passed the Senate last year. The legislation would establish and reauthorize critical programs to prevent human trafficking, promote justice for survivors, provide services to victims, and increase federal coordination to enhance the federal government’s response to the crisis of exploitation. In addition, Klobuchar and Cornyn authored the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a 2015 law that increased the resources and tools available for combating human trafficking in the United States. The law ensures that American law enforcement is equipped to fight this crime, while helping victims rebuild their lives by using fines and penalties against their exploiters to fund restorative services and compensation.
Last January, The U.S. Department of Justice released the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, which Klobuchar called for in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. The National Strategy helps coordinate efforts to investigate and prevent human trafficking between federal, state, local, and tribal agencies. In 2016, she and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Stop Trafficking on Planes (STOP) Act that would require training for certain airline industry employees to recognize and report suspected human trafficking to law enforcement. A provision based on this legislation was signed into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016.