The trucking industry is a crucial part of the U.S. economy, transporting the vast majority of the country’s freight.
While high-capacity trucks are handy for making sure plenty of product finds its way to the warehouses and shelves of stores, the extra space also leads some to be tempted. More specifically, they’re tempted to use their truck to engage in the practice of human trafficking.
This phenomenon has been around for decades, and truckers have taken notice. Industry leaders know that their field is as vulnerable to trafficking as any, and they’ve taken steps to crack down on this problem and reduce the chance of it happening.
Recently, two of the biggest trucking groups in the country united in a group effort to eliminate the demand for human trafficking in the freight transportation industry. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) joined up with Truckers Against Trafficking to launch the Man to Man Campaign. The initiative invites drivers to speak about the inhuman practice of trafficking and how it can be stopped.
ATA COO Elisabeth Barna said: “Our industry’s voice is powerful. From truck drivers to dock workers to dispatchers throughout the supply chain, if we can continue talking to one another about the atrocity that is human trafficking, we can make substantial progress toward our goal of eliminating it.”
Barna also said the next step after awareness was action – and that started with having the difficult conversations that are required to get things started.
ATA is the biggest lobbying group in the trucking industry. They provide detailed reports and forecasts about the industry’s future, resources for members and newcomers to the industry, as well as a wide variety of other services in the transportation industry.
Truckers Against Trafficking has been fighting to raise awareness about human trafficking for a long time. They’ve worked to help industry professionals identify potential warning signs so trafficking incidents can be spotted and stopped.
The basis of the Man to Man Campaign is that trafficking will stop once the demand for commercial sex stops. By promoting industry workers that advocate strong and effective anti-trafficking sentiments and practices, the campaign could help to reduce or even eradicate the problem.
The initiatives also aim to hold all involved parties accountable. While the trafficker themselves is guilty in these instances, the buyer can sometimes avoid punishment. If there is no money to be made in trafficking, there will be no buyers. If officials can’t track down buyers and hold them accountable, the next best thing is to destroy the trafficking market so that buyers can’t get what they want as easily.
The Man to Man Campaign has a dedicated webpage on Truckers Against Trafficking’s site. The site offers signs on how to identify trafficking, information on how private-company stakeholders are helping to fight trafficking, and even methods for communicating directly with others in the movement.
Truckers are also requested to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) to report any suspicious behavior related to this practice.