Truckers Against Trafficking welcomes new member ATA
The American Trucking Association (ATA) has joined a new initiative, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), in an effort to report and therefore reduce the numbers of trafficking instances in the US.
Human Trafficking is a $32 billion business in the US, predominantly involving young girls who are sold into the sex trade, who are often moved around regularly to prevent them from seeking help.
Truck drivers are in a great position to spot suspicious activities or vehicles on the road, or at truck stops, allowing them to aid in the fight against crime. It is hoped that the involvement of the ATA will raise awareness and encourage education on how to spot human trafficking.
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“These predators have become very adept at continuously moving their victims so they don’t have the opportunity to develop relationships with people who can help them. But there are 3.1 million truck drivers who travel over 408 billion miles each year. ..Drivers are the eyes and ears of the highway. We have an opportunity to help,” said Dan England, chairman of the ATA.
“We are asking our motor carriers to include this important information in their training programs and to work with their customers and communities to help combat the problem.”
Truckers are in a good position to spot suspicious activity at truck stops and travel plazas, according to TAT. Kendis Paris, national director of Truckers Against Trafficking, said traffickers “sell” their victims – girls and boys as young as 11 or 12 – at truck stops, travel plazas and rest stops because they are convenient; transient populations frequent them who are less likely to rescue the victims.
Truckers Against Trafficking provides a number of resources for the industry, including a wallet card with guidelines and a telephone number to call. They provide a training DVD, webinars and other outreach materials.
According to Paris, hundreds of calls are coming in: “Success stories are coming in of victims being rescued. You are making a difference,” she said.