Transport Agencies Target Human Trafficking

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

We have already seen more efforts in Louisiana to help prevent people from getting involved in human trafficking.

Capital Region transit agencies are doing more to raise awareness of human trafficking in the Capital Region.

“People probably don’t realize the magnitude of what’s going on because a lot of things happen when people are sleeping,” said Matthew Boudreaux, public information officer for the Office of Motor Vehicles.

“We have to understand that I-10 and I-12 are traffic corridors and with the Greyhound bus station just down the street, it’s so easy to move kids all over the city of Baton Rouge to our terminal from bus,” said Willie Brooks, who is in charge of training CATS bus drivers on human trafficking awareness.

“They think it’s something they just see on television but what confirmed to me that it was real was that on April 3, 2019, a citizen of Baker was arrested for trafficking in human beings, not just once but three times. I live in Baker, so with CATS running through Baker, it’s throwing red flags at me,” Brooks explained.

The Office of Motor Vehicles launched its own initiative to stop the traffic with the help of commercial truck drivers.

“They come out late. They are in truck stops, restaurants or hotels that the typical person working 9 to 5 doesn’t see,” Boudreaux noted.

The aim of both campaigns is that drivers are informed enough to say something when they suspect traffic.

“There is a girl, a child, who is in your neighborhood, maybe on your street, waiting for you to educate yourself about human trafficking so that you can possibly save her life. So get educated so we can start saving children’s lives,” Brooks added.

You can always contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline if you or someone you know needs help.

This number is (888) 373-7888.

You can also text “BeFree” to 233733.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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