On their first-year anniversary, we checked in with Truckers Against Trafficking, one of our 2021 Howes Hall of Fame inductees, to see what they’ve been up to since being entered into the Hall. It came as no surprise to hear that they’ve been super busy and as productive as ever.
Q. What’s new at TAT?
TAT has been steadfast in continuing to train more and more trucking industry professionals. Since being inducted to the Howes Hall of Fame, we have trained over 100,000 people in the trucking and related industries, bringing our grand total up to 1.3 million and rising. There’s even a new training resource for Local Drivers. You can watch the training video here.
We have also created a new training resource for Movers and In-home Delivery Drivers. In-home delivery and moving professionals are in and out of homes and businesses, giving them the unique opportunity of being in neighborhoods and office parks in a way that many other commercial drivers are not. While they too may see human trafficking taking place over the road (especially if they are doing cross-country moves), they may also have the ability to witness trafficking taking place within the cities and neighborhoods where they operate. Most notably, folks in the moving/in-home delivery space may literally be in dwellings that operate as residential brothels or houses where traffickers are keeping their victims. You can find that new training video here.
Q. Are there any new survivor stories you can share that illustrate the positive outcomes that can occur due to your training?
Yes, just a few months ago we released TAT's newest survivor success video: Nikki’s Story. It is only six minutes long, but it shows the life-saving impact TAT training, and a victim-centered approach, can make in the life of a trafficking victim. It is both devastating and heartwarming to hear Nikki share how a truck stop manager helped her escape her trafficker and begin a new life of freedom. His behavior gave Nikki a sense of safety in a time when she was extremely scared and vulnerable. Our training gave him the tools to take action that ultimately turned him into a hero.
Q. We know about the great work you do here in the states, but it doesn’t end there. You do work north of the border as well. Is there anything you can tell us about your efforts in Canada?
TAT works hard to educate not just those in the US, but our Canadian neighbors to the north as well. Human trafficking is by far more than a local problem, and we are striving to help others as best we can to fight it where they live. Efforts have included everything from presentations to a Coalition Build in Toronto. There have been tours through the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) at Canadian companies and a First Nation’s event. TAT has also been training law enforcement officers in Canada with staff educating and equipping people to fight human trafficking.
Q. We heard that this year launched a successful partnership between the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and TAT for a Human Trafficking Prevention Program. Can you tell us more?
Yes! TAT collaborated with CVSA on the launch of the human trafficking education and awareness campaign. Training materials were developed and available for industry and law enforcement use. This year, the CVSA three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative garnered participation from more than 2,460 law enforcement officers. The North American-wide Human Trafficking Initiative included all three of the alliance’s member countries – Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., who each sought to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers, and the general public. During the initiative, thirty-five jurisdictions participated, 1,818 presentations were delivered, and there were 163 reported events (possible indicators of human trafficking or documented cases). With 13,274 wallet cards and 6,355 window decals distributed during the event, the CVSA worked with TAT to provide an online order form for jurisdiction members to make these TAT materials available to them year-round. Based on the successful launch, the CVSA Board of Directors voted to extend the initiative from three days to five days next year.
Q. Lastly, you have developed a new app now available to drivers. What is it called and how does it work?
Our new app is called eTAT and it is an ELD-friendly app for fleet managers. Designed with ELDs in mind, eTAT helps their drivers identify and report labor and sex trafficking in their everyday work. Drivers can view human trafficking red flags and examples, as well as scan QR codes with their personal mobile devices to access training videos, podcast episodes, and more. It uses no cellular data and is easy to add to existing driver devices. The eTAT app provides the tools to help local and over-the-road drivers, van line operators, and in-home delivery professionals recognize and safely report potential trafficking situations in a timely manner. We encourage drivers to ask their company to install the TAT ELD app today.
Over the past year, Truckers Against Trafficking has continued to prove what an outstanding addition they are to the Howes Hall of Fame. We look forward to continuing with them in their journey and are ever grateful for their determination in their mission to eliminate the horrors of human trafficking. Many congratulations to TAT on their first anniversary as a member of the Howes Hall of Fame!