Truckers Against Trafficking announced this week a new partnership with UPS Freight to harness the power of the trucking community to help address human trafficking in the United States. Through this partnership, which will be deployed throughout 2017, all of UPS Freight’s more than 8,000 drivers will receive training on how to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking activity.
“TAT’s goal is to saturate trucking and related industries with educational materials and to equip drivers on how to recognize sex trafficking, what to do and, importantly, what not to do”, said Kendis Paris, executive director of TAT. “We are thrilled to have an industry leader like UPS on board, demonstrating the impact the business community can make to raise awareness and stop this horrific exploitation.”
The announcement follows the completion of a pilot project between TAT and UPS Freight across 10 states in December, which Paris says successfully trained 1,500 drivers on the proper response and available resources to combat human trafficking.
“UPS Freight is in a unique position to help identify traffickers and trafficking victims by educating our drivers and management on this epidemic impacting our local communities,” said Rich McArdle, president of UPS Freight. “We are proud to take a stand in fighting human trafficking and look forward to working with Truckers Against Trafficking on this initiative that will save lives.”
UPS Freight will also support TAT with quarterly in-kind transportation of TAT’s Freedom Drivers Project, which uses a semi-tractor trailer equipped with educational resources to serve as a mobile educational exhibit on human trafficking. UPS Freight kicked off the 2017 Freedom Drivers Project this week by transporting the trailer from a UPS facility in Denver to Frankfort, KY, where it will be on display at an event marking National Human Trafficking Day hosted by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, a national effort to increase awareness and educate the public about modern-day slavery. According to TAT, human trafficking affects hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and more than 20 million globally.
As part of TAT’s efforts, it will also work to train every driver with a commercial driver’s license, and will continue the tour of its Freedom Drivers Project, which has welcomed more than 20,000 people since debuting in August 2014.