In 2012, the United Nations officially declared September 5 as International Charity Day. Around the world, hundreds and thousands of organizations and individuals observe this day to help raise awareness and provide a platform for charities all over the world making positive impacts on all of our lives. And today we honor one of our newest partners, Truckers Against Trafficking, a 501c3, by helping share their voice and mission.
Many may not know, but there is a direct link between human trafficking and global supply chain manufacturing and distribution. As organizations within the United States continue to outsource the manufacturing of goods and services to countries with lower labor standards, they are leaving themselves more vulnerable to contributing to forced labor practices within the nation and abroad. It is estimated that globally there are over 40 million slaves today with human trafficking being reported in all 50 states. The number of victims in the United States is estimated in the hundreds of thousands and growing.
“Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) helps fight this very issue every day,” Lyn Leeburg, Co-Founder and Communications Director of Truckers Against Trafficking said, “In 2009, we started Truckers Against Trafficking to work with the trucking industry because truckers were often in places targeted by traffickers to sell their victims; and now we’re on a mission to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking, bus and energy industries to combat human trafficking with us as part of their everyday jobs. They comprise a mobile army of transportation professionals to assist law enforcement in the recognition and reporting of human trafficking in order to aid in the recovery of victims and the arrest of their perpetrators. We also work with the organizations – the shippers and manufacturers – who hire carriers to educate them on all they can do, including influencing their carriers to become TAT Trained, as well as cleaning up their supply chains, to fight human trafficking.”
Using truckers, TAT has taken an industry-specific, grass-roots approach to solving one of the world’s largest issues. Identifying truckers as the eyes and ears of the United States, TAT believes these men and women are in a unique position to make a difference by helping close loopholes to traffickers who seek to exploit the transportation system for their personal gain. Truckers are trained to be extremely observant, and the industry is composed of employees who are already entrusted with caring for other people’s goods valued into the multi-millions. As critical front-line heroes and with the right training and information, truckers can identify and report suspicious activity and trafficking patterns, saving hundreds, if not thousands, of lives locally and globally.
In addition to industry training and awareness, TAT works to build close relationships between state and federal law enforcement and members of the trucking industry through half-day events called Coalition Builds. Together, Coalition Builds participants work to find solutions to diminish human trafficking through strategic initiatives and partnerships.
“Human trafficking is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted approach to be eliminated. Clean supply chain public policy is one such approach that is necessary to enact change,” says Barry Conlon, Overhaul’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder. “The work that Truckers Against Trafficking does every day is beyond praiseworthy. As a global leader in supply chain risk management, it is our social responsibility to help organizations like Truckers Against Trafficking succeed and make a difference every day.”
For the latest information on Truckers Against Trafficking, visit https://truckersagainsttrafficking.org. Here you can find a central library of information and tools to help combat human trafficking.