Earlier this week when I drove to work, I heard a story on NPR about truckers who were working to raise awareness of human trafficking and how to save trafficking victims. This good news story does not come as a surprise to me since I was aware of Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization founded in 2009 to educate truckers about the critical issue of human trafficking and challenge them to act to save lives through their awareness and willingness to act when observing suspicious behavior.
Every day we see truckers around the country delivering mail and transporting everything from the mundane to the exotic. This effort of TAT is a lifesaving effort that has already paid off many times over. Truckers are the eyes and ears of the nation’s highways and are uniquely qualified to help law enforcement confront the problem of sexual exploitation.
Their work has produced some impressive results:
-truckers have made over 1,300 calls to the National Human Trafficking Hot Line;
-they have identified 415 likely human trafficking cases;
-they have distributed over one million wallet cards with the 800 number hot line made for truckers.
At times truckers have been part of the problem, but now they are part of the solution. One of the most effective tools they have provided recently is the “Freedom Driver Project.” This is a first of its kind mobile exhibit that is a way to educate members of the trucking industry and general public about the reality of domestic sex trafficking and how the trucking industry is combating it. This video provides glimpses into the human trafficking industry and simple steps anyone can take.
It is no surprise that Truckers Against Trafficking received a much deserved award from the United Nations as one of 100 Best Practices List to Combat Human Trafficking.