Committee: House Environment and Transportation
The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
House Bill 5 requires the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to include questions related to recognizing, preventing, and reporting human trafficking on its knowledge test for commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). It also requires CDL training schools to include education and training on human trafficking, as well as having the MVA update its Commercial Driver’s License Manualto include this information.
The Conference supports efforts to dismantle human trafficking by strengthening laws protecting victims against traffickers, providing services and rehabilitation to victims, and increasing awareness of the issue. Human trafficking – both sex trafficking and labor trafficking – strips the dignity from a person and is considered modern-day slavery.
Human trafficking is so insidious that it often occurs where we might not expect it – such as our own communities – and can be found in every corner of the state. Increased awareness and participation from the public is crucial to help end this practice. In fact, the largest number of calls coming from Maryland to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2017 were from those observing or suspecting trafficking. House Bill 5 takes a very important step towards this goal by involving professionals who are not only members of our communities but also travelling throughout our state and beyond. CDL holders are uniquely poised to help in this effort.
The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 5.
In 2017, of 115 cases of trafficking in Maryland that were reporting to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 89 were to “Report a Trafficking Tip.” Of 444 calls to the Hotline from Maryland, 78 were from “Community Members,” the largest classification, compared to 53 from “Victim[s] of Trafficking,” the next largest classification. https://humantraffickinghotline.org/state/maryland