After a few years on the road, most American truck drivers become acquainted with one of the darker sides of the industry: human trafficking. While this is a difficult topic to discuss, the horrible practice is still taking place – and growing – across the country. As one of the most mobile and aware groups on the roads, truck drivers have built one of the largest anti-human trafficking groups out there today.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and serves as a time to educate and inform ourselves and the public about this incredibly real, incredibly difficult topic. While some might think that human trafficking couldn’t possibly occur within the United States, in 2019 alone there were over 22,000 victims and survivors of human trafficking in the U.S. In 2020, COVID-19 kept many indoors and off the roads, giving traffickers a wider area to exploit vulnerable populations. Increasing awareness and education is even more critical now and will continue to be a focus for many truckers, carriers, and industry leaders throughout 2021.
Regardless of your specific role within the trucking industry, we can all play our part to decrease these threats on our highways. Carriers and organizational leaders can make trafficking awareness a foundational pillar of their organization. Recruiters can implement training programs and educational sessions as a mandatory part of new driver onboarding. And drivers themselves can act as frontline guardians on our nation’s highways to spot the signs of human trafficking and take immediate action against malicious threats. Just remember, if you see something suspicious, make a call – your concern can make all the difference in the world.
Here are a few additional resources to keep you and your peers engaged, informed, and aware of human trafficking:
- Truckers Against Trafficking is the foundational industry resource for truckers to increase engagement and awareness around human trafficking. TAT offers incredible content, training resources, and donation opportunities for truckers and carriers to become more involved with the cause.
- Does Human Trafficking Make You Sick? Here’s How You Can Help! Sometimes, truckers can feel overwhelmed or unsure about how they can make a tangible difference against the threat of human trafficking. This informative webinar hosted by Truckers Against Trafficking and DriverReach provides drivers with a real-world action plan to truly take a stand in the face of human trafficking.
- DriverReach Chats: Louie Greek of Truckers Against Trafficking. As the Training Specialist at TAT, Louie Greek works directly with truckers and other industry leaders to help them recognize and report the signs of human trafficking on our highways. This informal, educational chat explores some lesser-known aspects of human trafficking and highlights what to look out for during our current COVID-19 era.
During Human Trafficking Awareness Month and throughout the rest of the year, DriverReach offers gratitude and support to all truck drivers and law enforcement personnel dedicated to identifying, stopping, and preventing human trafficking across the country.
As always, if you see anything suspicious or untoward on the highways please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline as soon as possible at 1-888-373-7888.
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