Trucking and Human Trafficking

Human trafficking – the illegal movement of people, often for sex or labor, is a $32 billion dollar industry that often goes completely undetected. Unfortunately, truck stops are a frequent location of trafficking crimes. Although truck stops are not typically known for being hives of crime, they unfortunately have become convenient and central locations for traffickers to move throughout the United States.

Victims of human trafficking are coerced or forced into engaging in specific types of commercial sex acts or labor without their consent. Frequently, human trafficking remains a concealed crime. Victims fear their abusers as well as law enforcement, and the trauma that the suffer is so incredibly significant that they struggle to reach out for help. Human trafficking impacts people across races, ages, and genders.  Anyone can be a victim and the victimization occurs in the dark. Human trafficking traps an estimated 24.9 million people – 64% exploited for labor, and sexual exploitation accounts for approximately 19% of human trafficking.

There are several red flags that TAT (Truckers Against Trafficking) highlights, which include:

  • People who seem to be unaware of where they are. These individuals may not be in control of their IDs or passports, even when seeking lodging.
  • People who are not permitted to speak for themselves or look to someone else for consent before speaking. These individuals might be non-English speakers or those who seem very shy or cowed.
  • CB chatter includes things like “commercial companies.”
  • Unexpected flashing lights, which could signal the location of an interested “buyer.”
  • Acknowledgment of a “pimp,” making a quota, or talking about commercial sex.
  • A vehicle that is seemingly out of place by the rest of the trucks (often a van or RV).
  • A vehicle that drops someone off at a truck then comes back within a short time –often as little as 15-20 minutes–to pick them up.

As a truck driver, being aware of your surroundings is a critical part of the job. Learning to recognize the signs of human trafficking is also incredibly important. The Lanier Law Firm has created an incredibly informative and well-put together guide about the connection between truck driving and human trafficking. The guide includes the above information and even more. You can access the guide here: https://www.lanierlawfirm.com/trucking-and-human-trafficking

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