Can Truck Drivers Fight Human Trafficking
You may not have thought of it that way but truck drivers and their crews are at the crossroads. Truck drivers are exposed to almost everything along America's Interstate Highways because of their daily job. Unfortunately, they may occasionally be confronted by an underage girl forced to knock on their taxi door by a trafficker. Now there is a non-profit that wants to equip truckers with the tools they need to fight sex trafficking across the country. It's called Truckers Against Trafficking(TAT), and they want to encourage all of us working in the trucking or travel plaza industry to help fight domestic sex slavery.
"Recently, a young lady was placed in their care via the NHTRC. As the president began to talk with her, she told her story...she had escaped her captors and was hitchhiking along the nation's highways to escape her captors when a trucker offered her a ride. He began to ask her many questions, and soon realized she was being trafficked. He gave her the NHTRC phone number and she was able to reach the safe house ." –Kendis Paris Truckers Against Trafficking
What can you do to help?
Start by giving truckers in America informative wallet cards. Next, make Truckers Against Trafficking DVDs part of your orientation. This includes every employee at a truck stop or travel plaza, every student at a truck driving school, and every truck driver who works for a major carrier. Also, have Truckers Against Trafficking posters placed at truck stops, rest areas, and truck carrier break rooms across the country.
This organization helps truckers to recognize signs that could indicate a problem, such as an SUV dropping several young women off or CB chatter about girls under age. After they have a better understanding of the problem and are able to recognize it, they urge truckers to contact law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center anonymous tip line The Polaris Project.
Why should you call?
Well, it's simply because according to the Department of Justice estimates, between 100,000 and 300,000. Children are at risk of being sold to traffickers nationwide. Human trafficking is a $32-billion global industry, often involving young girls and teenagers. The FBI conducted a series of stings between 2004 and 2009. They found that children as young as 13 were being forced into prostitution at truck stops.
The good news is that the response to the TAT’s work in the trucking sector has been very positive. Between 1/1/2012 to 10/10/2012, the NHTRC received 193 calls. Truckers were ranked 14th among 38 caller types for all calls and 8th for calls relating to human trafficking.