Volume 10 Issue 4
Human Trafficking in the News
Sector-specific messaging key to fighting human trafficking, committee told
Training materials on the subject of human trafficking are most effective when tailored to specific industry sectors, said Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking.
Paris' comments March 12 marked the second public meeting of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. She serves as chairwoman of the agency's subcommittee on training and awareness.
To catch sex traffickers and protect kids, Colorado is using
a new screening tool statewide
It hardly matters whether the child's been gone 24 hours or three months. When a teen in the foster care system runs away and is found, a 2017 state law requires caseworkers to screen them for sex trafficking. They had 151 of those conversations in the law's first year. Here's what they didn't ask: "How long were you sex trafficked and by whom?"
Woman charged with selling 2-year-old for sex
leads police to child molestation suspect
His name is Michael Lowry and when we rang, he answered the door to his Southeast Houston home. He confirmed who he was. "Are you Michael Lowry?" I asked. "Yeah," was his reluctant reply. According to court documents this started last year with an investigation by the Montgomery County DA's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. They intercepted a woman named Sarah Peters who was heading to Conroe "who agreed to allow an adult male to engage in sexual intercourse with her two-year-old daughter in exchange for $1,200."
TravelCenters of America exceeds goal
in sale of TAT merchandise
TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), operator of the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® brands, presented a check for $112,946 to Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) at this year's Mid-American Trucking Show.
In partnership with High Noon Sales, TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel stores sold branded TAT merchandise for the first two months of 2019, which included National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. With one dollar from every item of TAT merchandise sold, the goal was to give $100,000 to TAT to support their work.
"We are so happy that we were able to not only meet but exceed our goal for this very important program," said Barry Richards, president and COO of TravelCenters. "As the industry leader, it is so important for us to bring attention to this problem and to do what we can to help prevent it."
High Noon Sales VP of Sales and Marketing Justin Hoffman participated in the check hand off to TAT. "We were thrilled to be able to partner with TA to raise funds for Truckers Against Trafficking," he said. "And we're proud that our merchandise was selected for the campaign. We gladly matched the contribution that TA made."
Helen Van Dam was on hand to accept the check for TAT. "The support we have gotten from TA for nearly a decade, and also from High Noon, will make a big impact to future programming," she stated. "We're grateful for the help in bringing awareness to the issue."
TA has partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking since 2011.
TAT receives great exposure at Mid-America
Thanks to the Everyday Heroes Truck exhibiting in the heavily visited South Lobby of the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), the check presentation of $112,946 to TAT by TravelCenters of America LLC for the sale of TAT-branded merchandise, multiple media interviews and the Happy Birthday banner at the TAT booth, TAT received maximum exposure at this year's show.
In addition to the large sign posted in front of the Everyday Heroes truck highlighting Truckers Against Trafficking, Kenworth also allowed TAT staff to occupy their exhibit and share with truckers who visited. Wayne Walker, a Walmart driver, volunteered with TAT staff all three days of the show, talking to truckers and encouraging them to become TAT Trained. TAT staff handed out more than 3,000 wallet cards and received verbal commitments from companies and individuals that they were going to train with TAT materials.
Freedom Drivers Project attends 2019
UPS Management Conference
Some 85 UPS executives had the opportunity to tour the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) at the annual UPS Management Conference in Atlanta, March 17-19. Many found it "sobering," and eye-opening, as they experienced the emotional impact of human trafficking through the displays and survivor artifacts and the toll this crime takes on lives.
President of UPS Freight Rich McArdle commented, "One of the first lines of defense to stop human trafficking is awareness. TAT and the FDP teach all of us how to be more aware of human trafficking: who the victims are -- and you may be surprised; what to be on the look-out for; what to do if we think we've come across someone who's been trafficked. When it comes to combating human trafficking, I'm very proud of how UPS supports TAT and the FDP."
||Inside the FDP, Ricky Brown (right), UPS driver who drove the FDP to the event and also volunteered there, is joined by President of UPS Freight Rich McArdle.
"We were honored to have the Freedom Drivers Project on site for two days, stated Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, who joined the FDP for the conference. "UPS has done a tremendous job educating their staff on our mission and ensuring their drivers are trained. Having the FDP on site allowed another step into the world of trafficking, why it's imperative to stop it and the good work UPS, and all trained truck drivers, are doing to combat it."
Busing On The Lookout crosses 100,000 mark
As BOTL continues to expand and reach all segments of the bus industry in the United States, more than 100,000 bus industry members -- both commercial and school -- are either trained or committed to training with Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) materials.
Two-thirds of these, or over 70,000, are school bus drivers being trained through their state or school district. To date, the states of Iowa, Kansas, Illinois and Tennessee will have BOTL-trained all school bus drivers in their state by the end of the 2019/2020 school year. Other state Departments of Education are taking steps in this direction, while many more are sharing information about BOTL with school districts and student transportation directors across the state who can implement the training on their own.
BOTL has also made significant progress in reaching public transit agencies throughout the country. Oregon is implementing plans to get all transit drivers in their state BOTL-trained by the end of the summer, while the Connecticut transit system (CT Transit) has begun using BOTL with their employees, and First Transit is rolling out the training to its 15,000 employees in 38 states and Canada.
- Empower the Driving Change event, Detroit, MI, Laura Cyrus, TAT corporate engagement director, presenting, FDP and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, attending
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration, St. Louis, MO, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting and also presenting TAT Champion Award
- New Mexico Transit Association Annual Conference, Santa Fe, NM, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting and coordinating a panel
- Virginia Trucking Association Safety meeting, Charlottesville, VA, Louie Geek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- National Bus Traffic Association Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting
- Northwest Motorcoach Association Tech and Tour Conference, Boise, ID, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting
- Arizona Transit Association Annual Conference, Mesa, AZ, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting and coordinating a panel; FDP and Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, managing the Freedom Drivers Project
- Nebraska State Patrol training, Grand Island, NE,
Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, survivor-advocate, presenting
- California Association of School Business Officials Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- Consejo Ciudadano, Mexico City, Mexico, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, meeting
- Colorado Motor Coach Association Western Slope event, Grand Junction, CO, FDP and Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, presenting
- Finished Vehicle Logistics Conference, Huntington Beach, CA, Laura Cyrus, TAT corporate engagement director, presenting
- Missouri Coalition Build, Jefferson City, MO, Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build director, Beth Jacobs, TAT field trainer presenting; FDP present
- National Association of Pupil Transportation BOTL Webinar, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting
- Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association BOTL Webinar, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting
TAT's work is made possible through the generous support of our corporate sponsors, foundation partners and individual donors. Our education, training, legislative engagement, and advocacy efforts would not exist without those who invest in the change that we work towards each day. If you are interested in learning more about how you can provide financial support, please visit our corporate engagement webpage
or contact Laura Cyrus at
612-888-4828 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore our giving opportunities.
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