The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a conduit through which nearly every resident of a state must pass at some point—giving the agency the perfect powers of perception to help root out a serious problem.
Starting this month, the Nevada DMV will train its employees to look for the signs of human trafficking among the thousands of annual visitors coming through its doors. Called “No Child for Sale,” the statewide initiative partners with the Blue Campaign, an anti-human trafficking operation run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Described by the federal agency as “modern day slavery,” human trafficking takes place in all areas of the country, affecting citizens of all ages, races, and genders; each year, thousands of cases are reported, according to the DHS.
Nevada is the first state in the nation to take up the training cause—but, home to sin cities Las Vegas and Reno, it may also be the most logical starting point. The Silver State is the singular place in the country where brothels are legal, and it’s estimated that upwards of 1,500 women and children in Northern Nevada alone are sold online for sex every day. (Additionally, it’s projected 81% of women working in the state’s brothels are desperate to leave.)
Did you know? A recent study by Creighton University in partnership with Awaken revealed that 1,500 women and children are being sold online for sex at any given time in the northern Nevada area. #TuesdayTruth #Awaken #LoveisBrave #EndCSE #EndSexTrafficking pic.twitter.com/cKbTd7IQNI— Awaken INC (@AwakenINC) February 13, 2018
There are a number of ways to identify those working against their will, including signs of physical abuse and a timid or fearful temperament, according to the DHS. And Nevada DMV officials hope that by deploying their 1,200 sets of eyes to watch out for the signs, the agency can help put a stop to the alarming issue.
While full training details have not been disclosed, the education is provided by the DHS, which encourages state employees to silently note any red flags, in order to protect the safety of the possible victim.
For more information on human trafficking or what can be done to help, visit the DHS' Blue Campaign website.