Human Trafficking Awareness

Home Responsibility Matters Human Trafficking Awareness

What is Human Trafficking?


Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit.  

Men, women, and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America.

Often, victims are transported using the highway systems.  So, the PA Turnpike Commission joined forces with the Commonwealth of PA and the PA State Police to help combat this heinous crime.  


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How to spot and respond to a sign for help:

  • The hand signal is a simple, one-handed gesture that a victim can use to silently indicate that they need help.
  • Remember, safety first. Unless you can help safely, do not attempt to help a human trafficking victim directly. It could put you or the victim in greater harm.
  • Dial 911 or the National 24-hour Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
  • Dial *11 if you are on the PA Turnpike.

The PA Turnpike's Commitment to Human Trafficking Awareness

According to the National Human Trafficking hotline, Pennsylvania ranked ninth in the nation for most reported cases of human trafficking.  In 2022, as part of our commitment to responsibility, the PA Turnpike created a comprehensive Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign to boost awareness and help save those who continue to be forced into labor or sexual exploitation. 

To raise awareness and fight human trafficking, the Turnpike partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police and YWCA Greater Harrisburg to educate its employees and 500,000 daily customers by creating a marketing campaign to raise awareness to show the signs of human trafficking and what drivers can do to help bring victims home safely.  



The mission of the PTC Women's Network Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign is educate and raise awareness of Human Trafficking through prevention programs, awareness campaigns and community involvement.

Information You Can Use

HTA roadway sign

The PA Turnpike developed several informational pieces to inform and educate travelers and the community by utilizing the entire toll road system and its resources.

Rack Cards

The Commission has developed rack cards and brochures to help explain what human trafficking is and how to fight it.  Both include alarming statistics about the magnitude of the problem and how customers can help victims.  The Commission is trying to change the stigma that human trafficking only happens in urban areas.  It can – and does – happen everywhere.  

Click here to view our rack card. 

Click here to view our brochure.

Mirror Clings

The Commission has placed mirror clings in all 17 service plaza restrooms across the Turnpike, directing motorists what to do if they suspect human trafficking. 

The clings explain, in both English and Spanish, how to report human trafficking and/or domestic abuse by calling the Commission’s Traffic Operations Center (TOC) at *11. The clings include the name of the service plaza to aid callers in identifying their location to TOC dispatchers. The clings also illustrate the hand signal victims are to use to indicate they are in trouble or being trafficked.  

Click here to view our mirror cling.

Roadway Signage

Roadway signs are installed along the entire PA Turnpike system in emergency pull-off areas promoting the use of *11 to report human trafficking activity. Turnpike dispatchers are trained in getting the correct information to the appropriate agencies for action.