It’s a form of modern-day slavery known as human trafficking, and it has become the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
Fortunately, there are growing efforts to stem the tide of human trafficking, including a commercial driving class at Del Mar College.
Our Michelle Pedraza has the story.
Truckers Against Trafficking is an organization that is committed to preventing and stopping human trafficking, and is now part of Del Mar's Training For Transportation Services.
Lynette Cervantes has been training students at Del Mar's Training For Transportation Services for over four years.
She said, “I put it into human terms this could of been your daughter, niece, sister, someone you know."
Using her 12 years of truck driving experience to teach others, especially Truckers Against Trafficking or TAT and the important role of drivers.
Cervantes added, “Unfortunately truck stops are a breeding ground for traffic children.”
She always goes back to 2010, when she was at a truck stop in New York and heard a knock at the door.
“I opened the door it was little girl, about 13-years-old, wearing tube top and mini skirt, wearing high heels. And she asked if I wanted to date and I said no you can come in it's warm in here," Cervantes explained.
But the girl’s response surprised the instructor.
“No I can't because he won't let me come in until I get paid,” Cervantes continued. She immediately called 911 and the Truckers Against Trafficking Hot Line, within minutes help arrived.
“They shut that ring that night down,” Cervantes said.
There’s' currently 20.9 million human trafficking victims across the world today, hundreds of thousands of them are right here in the U.S.
Cervantes added,“If someone comes up to your door and they see that sticker on the window saying Truckers Against Trafficking, when they knock on that door, they're assuming you’re going to be their hero that day...make the call."
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