Industry partnerships multiply for Truckers Against Trafficking

The Truckers Against Trafficking organization, founded to serve as a liaison between on-highway truck drivers and law enforcement in the interests of fighting child prostitution and other forms of human trafficking, has benefited from a growing number of partnerships with organizations throughout the trucking industry and beyond.

Colorado kickoff Nov. 12
The Colorado Motor Carriers Association, Colorado Truckstop Conference and local elected and law enforcement officials will be kicking off an education and awareness campaign focused on combating the human trafficking of underage children who are being forced to engage in prostitution. Utilizing Truckers Against Trafficking materials, the kickoff will be held at the TravelCenters of America location in Commerce City, Colo., on Monday, November 12, at 10 a.m.

TAT,  a national non-profit organization that is based in Colorado, is working with the trucking industry to help truck drivers and truck stop employees recognize children and others who may be being trafficked as part of prostitution rings and report it to law enforcement.

Human trafficking, a term for modern-day slavery, is a $32-billion worldwide industry with more than 27 million people enslaved. It has been reported in all 50 states, and the number of victims in the United States is estimated in the hundreds of thousands. Conservative estimates state that 17,000 people are trafficked into this country every year.  

Donations to be matched through 2012
The Greenbaum Foundation through the end of 2012 will match dollar-for-dollar any donation made to help support the TAT organization, up to $50,000. That means “your $10 will be $20. Your $50 will be $100,” TAT said in a press release.

“I fund and work with many of the best nonprofit organizations throughout the world,” said Jim Greenbaum, Greenbaum Foundation founder and managing director. “Few accomplish so much with so little as does Truckers Against Trafficking. The work and accomplishments of Kendis Paris and her team are awe-inspiring. With sufficient funding, there’s no telling how much greater of an impact they will have in the fight against human trafficking. I am delighted to make this matching grant offer for Truckers Against Trafficking.”

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TAT’s annual budget continues to grow as more and more individual truckers, trucking
companies and state trucking associations join the effort to fight human trafficking. In 2011, TAT provided 180,000-200,000 wallet cards and more than 7,000 DVDs, in addition to posters and vent-window decals, to participants in the organization’s effort, which centers around a national hotline (888-373-7888) to report potential trafficking. The numbers for 2012 are even greater, with state trucking associations like those in California, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota coming on board.

Any donation, TAT says, is well spent:

  • The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is receiving more and more calls on possible human trafficking activity from truckers, and a significant percentage of those are actionable items where law enforcement has been involved.
  • The trucking industry is beginning to receive excellent publicity for the work they’re doing to fight human trafficking.
  • There is a growing awareness among members of the trucking industry about human trafficking and what they can do to fight it effectively.
  • Truckers are providing a model for other members of the transportation industry to follow in the fight against human trafficking.
  • New liaisons are being created between the trucking industry and law enforcement to engage in the fight against human trafficking together.

Donations can be made via by Dec. 31, 2012, to take advantage of the matching grant.

Owner-operators stepping up
The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association recently announced an official partnership with TAT.

“Their efforts are important in so many ways, and we have been glad to help spread their messages to our members,” said OOIDA President Jim Johnston. “We are proud to strike an official partnership with them and continue that outreach through social media, a direct link from our website homepage, and other channels.”

OOIDA hands out TAT wallet cards from  its headquarters and keeps them on hand on the association’s tour truck, “The Spirit of the American Trucker.”

“Often, visiting members have asked for stacks of them to hand out to other drivers they meet out on the road,” said Johnston.