WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has introduced two bipartisan bills, the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act and the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act, to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. Senator John Thune (R-SD) introduced the bills with Klobuchar. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which Klobuchar and Thune are members, also held a hearing today to explore the role of transportation providers in combatting human trafficking.
“As our eyes and ears on the road, truckers and commercial drivers are often the first line of defense against human trafficking,” said Klobuchar. “By providing training to recognize and report trafficking, we can empower them to prevent this heinous crime across the country.”
“Human trafficking must be fought on many fronts,” said Thune. “Our legislation is a starting point for prevention and enforcement against the use of a commercial driver’s license in human trafficking.”
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, education, and reporting efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The bill is supported by Truckers Against Trafficking, National District Attorneys Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and ECPAT-USA.
The No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act would disqualify individuals from operating a commercial vehicle motor vehicle (CMV) for their lifetime if they used a CMV to commit a felony involving human trafficking.
Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to combat human trafficking. In June, the bipartisan Abolish Human Trafficking Act she introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. 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. In addition, Klobuchar and Cornyn, along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Act to 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. Klobuchar and Cornyn also 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. In 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. Last year, 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 last July as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016.