How to Spot Human Trafficking and What to Do About It
by Women In Trucking Staff, on Jan 5, 2022 6:15:00 AM
Did you know that there are over 40,300,000 people enslaved globally? January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and transportation professionals are in a unique position to make a difference and close loopholes to traffickers who seek to exploit our transportation system for their personal gain.
In an effort to spread awareness and call to action, we've teamed up with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a 501(c)3 that educates, equips, empowers and mobilizes members of the trucking, bus and energy industries to combat human trafficking.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud and coercion to control their victims. Any minor engaged in commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking. While the initial purchase of victims may occur online, the real-time sale of victims can happen in many locations, including truck stops, restaurants, rest areas, hotels/motels, strip clubs, private homes, etc.
Indicators of Trafficking
- A suspicious vehicle/RV/van parked where they normally aren't or out back with the trucks, and men coming and going from it.
- Men going in and out of a motel or hotel room within 15-30 minutes and then spending the night in their cab.
- A car driving to a cab of a truck, dropping someone off an coming back in 15-30 minutes to pick the person up.
- CB chatter about "commerical company" or exchange of "roses" for a date or flashing lights signaling “buyer” location.
- Seeing a potential victim who:
- has no control of their own identification documents
- lack of knowledge of their whereabouts
- has restricted or controlled communication – not allowed to speak for self
- shows any acknowlegment that she/he has a pimp and is making a quota
- saying their "daddy" needs money
- has signs of branding or tattooing showing ownership
How You Can Take Action
Report a Tip
If you see a minor working any of those areas or suspect that the person selling sex is under someone else’s control in order to make a quota, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-3737-888) and report a tip. If you are witnessing a crime in progress, please call 911.
Warning: Please do not approach traffickers.
Allow law enforcement to deal with traffickers and recover victims. Approaching traffickers is not only dangerous for you and their victims but could lead to problems in the eventual prosecution of traffickers.
Spread the Word
Additionally, you can help by spreading awareness of TAT's messaging and resources with your co-workers, at truck stops, and at home.
As a professionial driver, become educated today on the signs of human trafficking and what you should do if you suspect it. As a company, register your organization as TAT Trained. Anyone desiring to become certified may do so by watching our training video and passing a short quiz. It is important to note that there is NO COST for this official certificate program.
Interested in learning more? Visit the Truckers Against Trafficking website.