How truck drivers can help stop human trafficking
Posted: January 24, 2021
Human trafficking is a major global issue. The multibillion-dollar industry worldwide is a modern form of slavery with approximately 21 million victims. In the United States, it is estimated that 18,000-20,000 victims are trafficked every year. Traffickers often use our country’s transportation system to move their victims. It is professional truck drivers like you, who continuously drive these roadways, that are in the best position to recognize and report possible human trafficking situations. So what can you do to help? Since January is National Human Trafficking Prevention month, Averitt Express wanted to take this opportunity to share some ways you can get involved and make a difference.
Get TAT trained
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is an organization that teaches truck drivers how to notice and report signs of human trafficking. There are over a million individuals who are TAT trained and committed to working together to fight this problem. In order to become TAT trained, professional drivers can watch TAT’s free training video, take a short quiz, and register as an official TAT-certified driver. TAT’s website also has additional resources you can share with others in person, through social media and on your truck. Take the first step here: https://education.truckersagainsttrafficking.org/lesson/the-tat-training-video/.
Know the signs
It’s important to know what signs might indicate a sex trafficking situation. Some of these red flags include:
- Signs that prostitution is taking place
- Women or children looking afraid or crying
- Indications of drug addictions or abuse
- Individuals who cannot come and go as they please, or keep the money they make
- Signs of branding or tattoos of the trafficker’s name
- Any individual that appears to be under the control of another person
- Unusual security measures at a business or home
Collect important information
If you see a possible trafficking situation, it’s important to get as much detail as possible for the local authorities. This also helps the Federal Bureau of Investigation on a larger scale. If you’re able, get the description of any vehicles involved - take a photo if it’s safe to do so, the date and time of the incident, as well as the address or location where the situation occurred.
Report suspicious activity
If you see suspicious activity that may be a human trafficking situation, call the National Human Tracking Hotline (1-888-3737-88) or text BE FREE (233733). This hotline is staffed 24/7 with trained operators who can pass on your information to local law enforcement. You can also call 911.
Visit TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org for more information on how you can join the fight against human trafficking.