Around the world an estimated 20.9 million people are bought and sold as slaves each year, and in the U.S. the number is estimated in the hundreds of thousands according to the FBI. The FBI has increased its efforts to disrupt human trafficking and one of the organizations doing its part to resolve trafficking is Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT).
To aid in awareness for the trafficking of young children forced into labor and prostitution, the Truck Driver Training program will sponsor the TAT traveling exhibit, “The Freedom Drivers Project,” at Central Tech’s open house. TAT recognizes that members of the trucking industry and individual truckers are invaluable in the fight against this heinous crime. As the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways, truck drivers are in a unique position to make a difference and close loopholes to traffickers seeking to exploit people and our transportation system for their personal gain.
“Truckers are now one of the most motivated and well-organized industry groups working on this issue. Their reports have led to countless arrests and recoveries of victims across the country. TAT has been instrumental in creating a community of activists who are speaking out against human trafficking and directly impacting the lives of victims,” said Nicole Moler, Director, National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), Polaris Project.
From the exhibit’s outside wrap, to the climate controlled interior, which includes a theatre station, guests will view artifacts from trafficking cases connecting people to the back stories of the enslaved and portraits of truckers and their stories to end human trafficking. This trailer provides a glimpse into human trafficking, as well as, action steps to get involved.
This congressional award winning program gained notoriety when TAT was recognized by the United Nations in the 100 Best Practices list to combat human trafficking. Through the program, truckers increase public awareness regarding this horrendous use of children.
“Truckers Against Trafficking is a huge network of truckers that are out there on the front lines giving these victims a fighting chance. The way I view this awesome organization is, it gives these victims some sort of hope of getting their life back and bringing these traffickers to justice. For me, becoming a part of Truckers Against Trafficking gave me purpose as a truck driver,” said Professional Truck Driver Rick Youngquist.
To learn more about Truck Driver Training, visit Central Tech’s Open House Sunday, February 14, from 1-4 p.m. in Drumright.