The fight against human trafficking is an important global issue, and one way to contribute to the effort is by educating people about the dangers of human trafficking. Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a nonprofit organization that works to mobilize and educate members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat human trafficking. If you already have your CDL, you can receive Truckers Against Trafficking Education online for free, or if you are getting your CDL you will learn about it in class. Keep reading to learn how to receive Truckers Against Trafficking education.
What is Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a horrific form of modern-day slavery involving the exploitation of vulnerable people for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or unfortunately both. It is the third-largest criminal industry in the world, generating an estimated $150 billion in profits each year. Trafficking victims often have difficulty escaping their captors due to fear of retribution, language barriers, and lack of knowledge of the law. These victims are also often drugged in order to keep them subdued, making it harder for them to escape. Human trafficking at truck stops often takes the form of forced labor, sexual exploitation, and/or exploitation of minors. Victims are often drugged, threatened, or forced into labor and sex trafficking, which is often overlooked by authorities.
As such, it is essential that members of the trucking and travel industry are educated on the signs of human trafficking so they can help identify and report it.
Truck Stops and Human Trafficking
Truck stops have become a common place for human trafficking to occur. These areas are highly frequented by travelers and truckers, who can be vulnerable to traffickers who are looking for victims. Traffickers often take advantage of the fact that truckers and travelers are often away from family and home, leaving them open to exploitation. Not only do traffickers take advantage of truckers being away from their families, but they are also spying on families visiting the stops as well. Kids wandering off or going to the bathroom alone can be incredibly dangerous.
However, traffickers are looking for people who wouldn’t be noticed if they went missing or it would take a while for their families to notice that they’re missing.
How Do Traffickers Communicate
Traffickers typically communicate in a variety of ways. The most common way they communicate is through pre-paid or pay-as-you-go cell phones. These phones are hard to trace and can be purchased and disposed of very quickly. This makes it harder for authorities to find them and keeps traffickers under the radar. The use of these tactics allows traffickers to remain hidden and undetected. Among that, they also use CB radio and communicate with slang that is also used by truckers.
Truckers Against Trafficking Education: How to Spot the Signs
Truckers Against Trafficking education is essential for truck drivers to recognize the signs of trafficking and to know how to report it. Some signs to look for include:
- Individuals who appear to be under the control of another person or group
- This may look like a trafficker not letting a victim speak or the victim appearing to be drugged
- People who seem to be in a situation of debt bondage
- Individuals who are not in control of their own identification documents
- People who are being transported in a manner that seems suspicious or unsafe
- Individuals who are being forced to engage in commercial sex or other forms of labor
If you suspect that someone is being trafficked, it is important to report it to the authorities as soon as you can. You can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233733. You can also report it to your trucking carrier or call a local law enforcement agency.
How Truckers Can Stay Safe
Truckers Against Trafficking education also involves understanding how to protect yourself and your fellow truckers from becoming victims of trafficking. Some steps you can take include:
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert for any suspicious activity
- Avoid accepting rides or accommodations from strangers
- Avoid sharing personal information with people you don’t know
- Use trusted sources to find work and accommodations
- If you are a victim of trafficking or know someone who is, seek help immediately
As a trucker driver, you are in a unique position and have the power to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking. When at truck stops, make sure to walk in areas with good lighting and be aware of your surroundings. Lock your truck as soon as you are inside it. By receiving proper education and being aware of the signs of trafficking, you can play a critical role in rescuing victims and bringing traffickers to justice.
Truckers Against Trafficking Education: Different Programs Offered
The Truckers Against Trafficking Organization offers a few different programs to fit the needs of different drivers.
There’s the Freedom Driver’s Project which is a mobile exhibit that travels to different places to educate the trucking community about human trafficking.
The Shipping Partners Program engages major shipping companies that will hopefully inspire them to regularly have TAT training.
Coalition Builds brings law enforcement at all levels of government together with managers of truck stops representatives of trucking companies and more. This helps prevent trafficking in local areas.
The Industry Training Program is the biggest program offered. This program is used in truck driving schools and has a large social media presence which allows TAT to educate hundreds of thousands about the dangers of trafficking and how they can be a part of the change to stop it.
Receive Truckers Against Trafficking Education Today
Truckers against trafficking education are essential for truck drivers to recognize the signs of trafficking and to know how to report it. It is also important for truckers to take steps to protect themselves and their fellow truckers from becoming victims of trafficking. By being aware and taking action, truckers can significantly impact the fight against human trafficking.
Get your CDL to receive Truckers Against Trafficking education. Human trafficking continues to get worse and we need more drivers on the road to help combat the problem. You can sign up at any of our 11 locations to receive your CDL in 3 weeks to be a part of the change.
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