January is a time to take action and make our voices heard: Human Trafficking Awareness Month brings attention to the global problem of illegal practices preying on vulnerable individuals. The trucking industry has stepped up in this fight, training thousands of professional drivers for spotting suspicious activity that can lead authorities towards bringing justice against trafficking rings.
Aiding in the fight against human trafficking, professional truck drivers are uniquely positioned to help combat this devastating crime. Truckers’ time on the road often puts them on the same streets, rest areas, and truck stops that are often used by human traffickers to sell their victims. This creates an opportunity to spot suspicious activity that can lead authorities straight to perpetrators who seek to profit from exploiting vulnerable victims. With their alertness and sharp attention-to-detail, these dedicated professionals have become valuable allies in keeping our streets safe.
In 2009, the fight against human trafficking was bolstered by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). This organization is dedicated to training transport and trucking companies – as well as their drivers- on how to recognize potential victims of this criminal activity. TAT provides effective tools that allow professional truckers to identify individuals in need while offering assistance with comprehensive education programs.
Professional truck drivers, who for years have seen the trafficking of women and minors but didn’t know what to do about it, are now taking an active stance against this heinous crime. Over 1.4 million across the U.S. have been registered as TAT-trained since its inception, and it is actively working to increase the numbers of trained individuals committed to ending human exploitation.
Trained truckers have become heroes in the fight against human trafficking – calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) reportedly increased significantly since Truckers Against Trafficking was established. A staggering 41% of cases reported by those drivers involved victims who were minors, highlighting just how vital their role is in protecting young people from heinous abuse.
Professional truckers are playing an invaluable role in the battle against human trafficking; with their hard work and devotion to the mission, they are having a major effect on this ongoing crisis.
A heroic truck driver made a single call that brought an end to a 13-state sex trafficking ring – recovering seven minors and apprehending 31 offenders. This success story serves as a strong reminder of how powerful the partnership between law enforcement and the truck industry can be in combatting human exploitation.
Despite successful past initiatives, there is still much work ahead in order to ensure that all truckers have access to necessary training for safer travels.
All motorists should be aware of how they can help fight human trafficking including not just how to identify the signs, but also how to report something that doesn’t seem right.
Keeping roads safe is now easier than ever with TAT’s training for truckers. If you’re operating a business and your drivers have yet to receive this invaluable course, don’t delay in providing this valuable education. Helping put an end to human trafficking starts behind the wheel of our commercial trucks.