Stories from the Great West Trucking Show (GWTS) in Las Vegas
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
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
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.
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
Truckload Carriers Association employs educational arm in partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking
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
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.
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."
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.
IOWA 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.
Iowa DOT is working with the Iowa Motor Truck Association to visit with
truck stop operators to have materials placed in their facilities.
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.
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."
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."
Truck Driver connects with high school youth on human trafficking
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
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
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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
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."
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.