Truckers Against Trafficking
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Mission: Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a 501(c) 3 that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs.
- Make the TAT training DVD, wallet cards (and other materials) a regular part of training/orientation for members of the trucking industry so that when they suspect human trafficking they can call 1-888-3737-888 and report what they know.
- Partner with law enforcement to facilitate the investigation of human trafficking.
- Marshal the resources of the trucking industry to combat this crime.
Making an Impact:
- Before TAT existed, only sporadic tips were being reported by the trucking industry, but now they have made over 790 calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. They are the fastest growing demographic of callers, and rank 6th in terms of reports made. These tips, along with pockets of key intel, are greatly expanding the reach of law enforcement, and as a result women and girls are being rescued from exploitive situations.
- National trucking organizations like the American Trucking Association, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and the Truckload Carriers Association have entered into partnership with TAT, along with numerous state trucking associations, and large companies (like Ryder, Werner, C.R. England, TA/Petro, Bridgestone, and more), in order to get the word out.
- TAT is building coalitions between general managers and the law enforcement that investigate trafficking cases on their lots, (FBI, AG’s office, DHS, local PD, US Attorney, etc.) in order to close loopholes to traffickers who exploit industry businesses for criminal gain, and to mobilize a local response.
- TAT works with the Iowa OMVE/DOT who created a statewide model in order to utilize/mobilize weigh stations, rest stops, and state patrol in helping to get the word out, train law enforcement, and gain entry points into the trucking industry. Other states have begun to replicate this model.
- TAT/the trucking industry was recognized on the Congressional floor for its work in helping to rescue minors from DMST situations. It was also chosen as one of the 100 Best Practices to fight human trafficking by the United Nations (GIFT). It won the Norma Hotaling Award for Demand Reduction in 2012. And recently, the Motor Transport Association of CT honored TAT with their Good Buddy Award.
Best Practices for Trucking Companies Partnering with TAT
1) Train all OTR (over-the-road) drivers with our 28 minute comprehensive training DVD, and equip each one with a TAT wallet card, so when they see a minor working the lot or suspect pimp control, they can call the NHTRC and report what they know. Ideally, all employees of each company would be trained as domestic sex trafficking reaches much further than along our nation’s highways, but truckers, as the boots-on-the-ground responders are essential.
2) Once the training has been implemented, visit the TAT website and click on the TAT Trained button and enter the number of folks your company has trained. Or, you can simply send TAT an email and let us know how many employees you’ve trained and we’ll enter the data for you.
3) Have main contact at the company sign up to receive our regular newsletter in order to pass along its information (pertinent stories on human trafficking, TAT and industry news) to company trained employees in order to keep this issue on their radar screens.
4) Adopt the Internal Reporting System, so that companies who have drivers who have made calls can let us know when an arrest or rescue was made in their presence. This provides a larger pool of applicants for TAT to choose from when selecting our Harriet Tubman Award winner, but it also allows companies to internally recognize and celebrate their employees achievements.
5) Work with law enforcement when the opportunity arises. This could mean providing a truck or a driver to assist law enforcement in an investigation, or some other way to partner, but it would be fantastic to have trucking companies in every area of the country ready to assist law enforcement quickly.
6) Use your influence to spread the word about TAT throughout the trucking industry. These types of referrals have proven invaluable in TAT’s growth, and by using their own company as an example, they can encourage others to follow suit.
7) When possible, companies can become a corporate sponsor of TAT. While most give to large charities like United Way (and rightfully so), an investment in TAT is an investment in the trucking industry as it improves drivers communities along our nation’s highways, rescues American children, and underscores the worth and value of the professional driver.