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TAT Newsletter
Posted on Jul 3, 2013
Truckers Against Trafficking Newsletter
 
Volume 4, Issue 3
July2013
Stories from the Great West Trucking Show (GWTS) in Las Vegas

GWTS 17 

Great WestTrucking Show (GWTS) in Las Vegas, NV.

 

"I met a woman who said she had witnessed young girls working a lot on a truck lot in Amarillo, Texas a few years back. She initially thought that some of the girls on this lot were there by choice until I explained how traffickers force young girls and use coercion tactics to control them. As I was explaining this to her, it was as if her eyes opened...and she had some sort of epiphany. She shared that she realized she saw a whole trafficking operation happen back then. She then became very warm, and very willing to help with TAT's cause. She kept shaking her head, saying that she had no idea...no idea. The truth about how these young girls are being exploited really impacted her heart."     - Guido H. TAT volunteer at GWTS 

 

GWTS 2013 

TAT booth at the Great West Trucking Show.

 

"In my three days of speaking with these men who represented drivers all across the nation, I found two responses. The first were the men who heard what TAT stood for, and with a flash of anger in their eyes, grabbed a hotline card and sticker. These were the men who were aware of the problem, the men who I can only imagine have sat in their vehicles many a night feeling helpless while watching this great evil play out in the truck stops they parked in. The second group of men was the ones who heard what TAT stood for, and were unaware of the problem being separate from truck stop prostitution. Their jaws dropped in horror as they heard the list of things to look for when identifying pimp control and child sex trafficking. They were white-faced from the disturbing realization that they had witnessed the signs and been unaware of their implications. These men immediately grabbed the information cards not just for themselves, but for their friends and fellow drivers." - Kat F. TAT volunteer at GWTS

 

GWTS 7 

TAT volunteers shared TAT materials. 

Inside this issue
 
  
 
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Hello friends and supporters,

As we enter the third quarter of 2013 and summer, we are thrilled to share information about some key partnerships TAT is forming across our great nation. As more and more people become aware of human trafficking and the impact the trucking industry can have on combatting the trafficking problem, the more they are reaching out to us to find out how they can help. And every partnership, whether big or small, makes a difference in the lives of the victims of human trafficking.
 
Every call makes a difference. Every driver trained on recognizing the signs of human trafficking makes a difference. Every wallet card in the hands of those of you that are the eyes and ears of our nation's highways makes a difference. Thank you for the work you do. We are privileged to be a part of it.
 
Truckers Against Trafficking

TruckerAssociationTruckload Carriers Association employs educational arm in partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking

 

When the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) joined forces with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) in May to more fully engage the trucking industry in the fight against human trafficking, one of the strategic tools it employed was its Truckload Academy On-demand education and training platform.

 

TCA developed a test that all interested parties can take to obtain the designation Certified Trucker Against Trafficking, or CTAT. Questions are based on the trucking-industry-specific TAT training DVD on the problem of human trafficking and action steps to take to combat it.

 

Certification is free, and everything is available through TAO (www.truckload.org/TAO ). The training and testing will also be offered on-site at the Great American Trucking Show, Aug. 22-24, 2013, in Dallas, Texas.

 

 

The TAT website (www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org) has created an area called TAT Certified and is now linked with the TAO page, enhancing access for those interested in obtaining this certification, which can be listed on resumes. TCA stresses that anyone who wants to help end human trafficking can earn CTAT; it isn't necessary to be a truck driver or a TCA member.

 

"We love that TCA created the CTAT. One of the goals of the CTAT program is to enable the trucking industry to lead by example within the entire transportation industry in hopes that other transportation groups will develop strong anti-human trafficking initiatives as well," explained Kendis Paris, TAT executive director.

 

"To that end," she continued, "we have also created a registration tool on our site, so we can determine how many members of the American trucking industry (drivers, truck stop personnel, manufacturer employee, etc....any member of the trucking industry) have already viewed our training DVD and are now equipped with the NHTRC# 1-888-3737-888, so they can call and report what they know when they suspect a human trafficking situation. This information will be shared with USDOT, as part of the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking Initiative, of which TAT is a part."

 

Registration is simple. On the TAT website, click on the TAT Certified section. If you're an individual, either an independent driver or a company employee, please click on the Register tab, select Individual and fill out your information. (one-time-only). If you represent a company (either a carrier or manufacturer, or a truck stop, etc.) please click on the Register tab, select Company and provide the number of employees you've trained with TAT materials. If you're an instructor at a trucking school, please click on the Register tab, select School and provide the number of student drivers you've trained with TAT materials.

  

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IOWAIOWA DOT creating state anti-human trafficking model in its work with TAT

 

In May, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) released information on its newly designed state model for combating human trafficking.
 
This model consists of components including:
  • The training of the Iowa DOT's Office of Motor Vehicle law enforcement officers on the issue of human trafficking and the distribution of TAT materials for professional drivers at all state scale sites.
  • TAT posters are being hung and handout materials made available in all of Iowa's interstate rest areas.
  • The Iowa DOT is working with the Iowa Motor Truck Association to visit with truck stop operators to have materials placed in their facilities.

Iowa DOT became involved in the issue when the Iowa Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, initiated a working group to aggressively address this issue in Iowa.

 

Iowa DOT's MVE Chief David Lorenzen stated," Our agency has daily contact with the trucking industry. We fully embrace the efforts of TAT and will continue to work with them to get the information out to all professional drivers. Working together, we can make a difference and curb this criminal activity."

 

TAT Executive Director Kendis Paris concluded, "We love the state model Iowa DOT has created and hope that it will serve as a model for many other states to adopt in the fight against human trafficking. We hope that many Truckers Against Trafficking will share this model with DOT in their own states."

  

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HighSchoolTruck Driver connects with high school youth on human trafficking
  

When it comes to hauling goods across the United States, truck drivers are the top-of-mind group for most people. In fact, one of the mottos truckers like best says, "If you have it, a trucker brought it." But few in the United States would put truckers at the top of their personal lists as effective high school presenters on issues as tough as human trafficking.

 

However, as the 26 juniors and seniors in a service learning class at Spectrum High School in Elk River, Minnesota learned, truckers know what they're talking about when they speak on human trafficking. Most people read about it or hear about it through the media. Truck drivers, on the other hand, are on the front lines ... they actually see it happening as they travel the highways of America. And they know what to do about it when they do.

 

Through the collaborative efforts of Lodestar Transport Services, LLC in Barnesville, Minnesota and two abolitionist groups -Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and Minnesota's Destination Freedom Inc. (DFI), which has been running a school curriculum on human trafficking at Spectrum High since last September -- Bill Brady, a 16-year veteran owner/operator, over-the-road truck driver shared his knowledge and training on the topic on May 1 and made an impact.

 

"As I continued to work with the students, it became apparent the young men were not connecting," shared Marie Keener, CEO of DFI. "I contacted Kendis Paris from TAT about a speaker for this group of students to try and get the young men more involved ... we noticed they should have male mentors strong in fighting human trafficking, and since I'd been watching TAT since their beginning, this was the perfect link."

 

Paris, TAT executive director, contacted Sydni Mansager, safety director and partner at Lodestar, a company which began training their 32 employees with TAT's trucking-industry-specific training materials on human trafficking last fall, to see if they could supply a presenter.

 

"I asked them for one of their vetted drivers who cared about TAT," explained Paris. "One of my goals is to see a trucker against trafficking in every state who could not only go into the schools and talk to kids about the work of TAT and human trafficking in general, but also speak at conferences representing this work. I think it's a great way for the trucking industry to launch an awareness campaign to the general public, as well as embed advocacy for social justice into the ethos of the American trucker."

 

Lodestar suggested Brady. "Bill has proven to be a great advocate for the fight against human trafficking," stated Mansager, "and everyone at the company felt he'd be our best choice for this assignment. He has a positive attitude and stands out."

 

This was Brady's first time before an audience. "To be honest, I was a bit unsure of how the class was going to respond ... I was pleasantly surprised at how attentive they were and how they interacted with myself, Marie and each other," he stated. "I really felt like they connected with the video and the experiences I've personally had while I've been out on the road. They had relevant questions and were actively participating."

 

He continued, "I strongly feel the trucking industry has the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the fight against human trafficking in the sense that we're not only the eyes and ears of the highway, byway and every back road in middle America, but we have the means of communicating with one another from half way around the world. We are what keeps the world turning, and as a united front, we could bring serious awareness to human trafficking. My plan is to keep moving forward in the direction I'm heading with getting the word out to our up-and-coming youth through these presentations, setting up workshops for truck drivers and teachers, getting our TAT information out there to the public. If I can reach one person ... save one life ... it was worth every minute of my time and every mile on the road."

 

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TATWhat is TAT?

 

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs. To a great extent, domestic sex trafficking occurs along our nation's highways and at its truck stops, where traffickers can sell their victims to a transient population they believe are less likely to attempt rescue. In response, TAT is asking the 3 million domestic truckers, as well as other members of the trucking industry, to become aware of this issue, and, when they suspect a human trafficking case, to call the national hotline and report it.




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