Truckers Fighting Human Trafficking, from NBC News, January 26, 2020.
A few months ago, trucker Brian Sprowel got a late-night knock on his door while he was resting at a truck stop in Arizona. A sickly-looking young woman came up to his truck window and asked whether he wanted any company.
He pointed to the National Human Trafficking Hotline number on his truck and asked her: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?” She ended up running away, Sprowel said, but the red flags were enough for him to alert the authorities.
Sprowel is a member of Truckers Against Trafficking, or TAT, a Colorado-based nonprofit that trains truck drivers and various other members of the transportation industry to recognize human trafficking and alert authorities to potential victims. TAT says that since it was created in 2009, it has trained about 845,000 people in the transportation industry, over 700,000 of whom are truck drivers.
Making the call is as simple as dialing 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, but it makes a huge difference in the fight against human trafficking.
Polaris, a nonprofit organization combating modern slavery, estimates that in 2018 alone, more than 10,000 cases were reported to its National Human Trafficking hotline, a majority of those being sex trafficking cases. More than 23,000 survivors, most of them female, were identified. The Justice Department said it secured more than 500 human trafficking convictions in fiscal year 2018, an increase from the year before.
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