In the past month, Interpol nabbed a criminal described as one of “the world’s most wanted” human traffickers in Sudan, and in the US, the FBI rescued more than twenty migrants from a Ft. Worth, Texas-area smuggling ring.
These arrests hardly make national headlines because they’re so common. That’s part of the reason why US President Joe Biden proclaimed January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which aims to raise awareness about this global issue.
Another reason: Human trafficking is a crime that happens in plain sight, says Laura Cyrus, senior director of industry training and outreach, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). TAT partners with logistics companies, fleet operators, and the corporations whose goods they ship across the country to train drivers and related personnel to spot the signs of trafficking. To date, more than 1.5 million industry professionals have viewed one of the TAT training videos.
Truckers and delivery drivers are “the eyes and ears” of the nation’s roads, Cyrus says. They criss-cross the country and can be a first line of defense to spot potential crimes in action, whether it’s forced labor, migrant smuggling, or sex trafficking.
“We are trying to educate people about what to look for and to spot red flags, and then report it,” she explains.
HP has partnered with TAT since 2016, and today is among the corporate sponsors of the organization’s work. The company helps support video training programs for drivers and printed materials such as window decals and wallet cards, with the end goal of assisting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.
As a next step, HP plans to offer a TAT awareness session to some of its supply chain employees starting this year, explains Jessica Kipp, global head of supply chain markets & logistics at HP.
“We all can play a role in helping to identify and report human trafficking. The TAT trainings provide valuable and actionable information that is relevant beyond the carrier community,” Kipp says.