Volume 11 Issue 2
Human Trafficking in the News
Truckers fighting human trafficking are trained to be alert
to late-night knocks
NBC News - Brian Sprowel has seen a lot in his nearly 40 years as a professional truck driver. He's been to every state except Hawaii and has logged nearly 4 million miles across America's highways. But from his seat behind the wheel, he sometimes sees a much darker side of the country.
UPS strengthens fight against sex slavery
UPS, which has already trained its over-the-road drivers on the signs of human trafficking and action steps to take, now plans on training neighborhood, small-package drivers with Truckers Against Trafficking training materials.
New NC law means school workers must be trained
spot signs of human trafficking
All North Carolina school districts must pick by Wednesday an employee training program for reporting and preventing child sexual abuse and sex trafficking. The new training requirements are part of an overhaul of the state's sexual assault laws that include making it a Class 1 misdemeanor for anyone age 18 or over to fail to notify the authorities when he or she suspects or knows that a child is being physically or sexually abused, the News & Observer previously reported.
Do you know this year's Harriet Tubman Award winner?
Few things are as empowering and heart-warming as hearing the story of someone who's been recovered from sex trafficking or prevented from being forced into it. Calls are being made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and to 911 and local law enforcement by members of the trucking, bus and energy industries. Victims are being recovered and/or prevented from becoming victimized.
TAT staff need to hear those stories!
Some "everyday hero" deserves to be named this year's winner of the Harriet Tubman Award presented by Protective Insurance, complete with a $2500 check and a gala weekend at the Indy500. Is it someone in your company? Is it you? Is it someone you've heard about? Nominations must be made by April 30. The Indy500 and the award presentation are in Indianapolis, Indiana on the weekend of May 22-24. Visit
TAT's Harriet Tubman Award
page for specifics on the nomination process.
Energy Empower Freedom Tour kicks off new year
at Houston energy companies
|Shell General Manager of Marketing and Delivery Fergie Theriault spoke to Houston press and Shell employees about human trafficking and what the energy industry is doing to fight it prior to employees touring the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP).
To launch TAT's new industry-specific training DVD for the energy industry in conjunction with National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, TAT staff and the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) joined a number of anti-human trafficking organizations and the Oil and Gas Trafficking Awareness Group (OGTAG) Jan. 6-10 on a tour of Houston energy companies. At seven different locations, a total of 1034 people from close to 20 organizations toured the FDP, while 509 people attended one of 10 presentations. In addition to TAT staff, other presenters included OGTAG, Elijah Rising, United Against Human Trafficking, Street Grace and the Houston Area Women's Center. Chevron had the largest turnout of 175 people at its presentation.
TAT Energy Operations director, stated, "The power of this event will be felt throughout the year. Through individual connections at different companies, we were able to start meaningful conversations on empowering energy employees to be trained on this issue. Each company we connected with has actionable steps they can take to combat human trafficking."
The Houston Chronicle reported that one former trafficking victim, who now works for Royal Dutch Shell in Houston, was overcome with emotion as she walked through the FDP.
Memories of that harrowing experience came flooding back to Ataria Malveaux, now 43 and an operations analyst, as she toured the exhibit highlighting the risks and dangers of human trafficking in the oil and gas industry. She broke down in tears. "It was very emotional, because it happened to me," she said. "A lot of young girls out there don't have the awareness. They don't have the support."
The weeklong awareness tour was the largest event yet held by OGTAG, said
co-founder Jennifer Hohman, chief information officer at Seadrill, an offshore drilling firm, in Houston. "It's only been in the past few years that people are really beginning to talk more about this issue," she commented. "It's always been there, but everyone in this community is starting to take notice."
Industry members who toured the FDP commented that the exhibit: "showed me something I thought only regularly happened in other countries;" "that we each have a responsibility to educate our children and other young people about trafficking;" "taught impactfully about the way our accepted cultural norms play a role on driving human trafficking;" "showed how prevalent trafficking is at conventions/large events and how oil and gas companies can help to impact this and help make a change;" "made me more aware of what happens when young children/adults don't have a good support system. Awareness to a trade is often times overlooked. This has impacted me in a way that makes me want to educate myself to pay more attention to surroundings in case there might be someone who needs help." "
TAT provides US Chamber of Commerce a
best practices toolkit for business
At the Jan. 15 U.S. Chamber of Commerce event "Integrating Services for Trafficking Survivors," Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presented an engagement toolkit for businesses filled with best practices for fighting human trafficking. The toolkit can be
s a resource from the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce website
The toolkit, created by TAT, instructs businesses on resources available to enable them to provide anti-human trafficking training for employees, customers and the community, adopt anti-trafficking-in-persons policies with a demand-reduction focus and participate in victim-centered public awareness campaigns.
Paris speaks at USDOT human trafficking
Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, provided the opening presentation at the USDOT 100 Pledges in 100 Days Human Trafficking Awareness Event Jan. 28 in Washington, DC. Also speaking were Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar; Marty Kemp, First Lady of Georgia; New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith; and USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao, along with senior DOT officials, leaders of the trucking, transit, airline and transportation industries and Shamere McKenzie, CEO of Sun Gate Foundation.
Presentations were followed by three panels with
the topics of Fighting Trafficking in the Freight Network, Detecting Trafficking and Protecting the Traveling Public in the Passenger System and Combating Trafficking in our Communities: State and Local Approach.
This event launched a 100-day period during which the USDOT's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative is calling on all transportation leaders to join in a commitment to employee education, raising public awareness and measuring a collective impact by signing a voluntary pledge.
Paris commented, "It was an incredible honor speaking alongside Secretary Chao at this event, and we applaud her office for their tremendous efforts in activating the transportation sector on this issue. This is essential, because we know that the transportation industry has proven itself to be critical in the fight against human trafficking, and we must harness its full powerful and potential. We call on all private and public transportation stakeholders to rise up, work together and bring their resources to bear to close loopholes to traffickers, and we urge everyone to sign the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge, as it's going to take all of us to put a dent in one of the greatest human rights violations of our time."
Sapp Brothers initiates Help Now program
for victims of human trafficking
In conjunction with its partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking, Sapp Brothers Travel Centers, with 17 locations reaching from Utah to Pennsylvania, has initiated Help Now, a program designed to identify victims of human trafficking and provide them with immediate help.
Working with TAT and law enforcement, Sapp Brothers has included as program components:
- Buttons in restrooms with verbiage that says, "If you are in danger, need help now or this area needs attention, press this button."
- Posters near the buttons with the text and phone numbers for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as well as the location phone number for the travel center itself.
- Training for employees on using a victim-centered approach when interacting with victims as well as contacting law enforcement for help.
The program started in locations in Nebraska and Iowa and will roll out to other states in 2020.
Sapp Brothers is also participating in quarterly meetings of the Coalition Against Human Trafficking in Omaha and is holding educational/awareness sessions at its locations in Omaha/Council Bluffs for customers, employees and surrounding businesses, complete with a special lunch menu for those participating in the training and law enforcement providing TAT training.
Throughout November, December and January, for its end-of-year giving, Sapp Brothers placed donation boxes at each cash register for donations to TAT. Cashiers also offered to sell a $1 cutout to customers declaring support for TAT, which customers could sign and Sapp Brothers hung on their walls. Customers could also round up to a whole dollar on their bill, with the money going to TAT, and shops in the travel centers gave away vehicle decals saying TAT+SB=HELP NOW to each oil change customer to raise awareness. These same decals are on Sapp's transport trucks, and drivers of those trucks have been TAT Trained. The campaign raised $62,095 for TAT.
"Sapp Bros. is proud to partner with Truckers Against Trafficking in the fight against human trafficking," said Andy Richard, CEO of Sapp Bros. "TAT has proven to be on the forefront of educating, identifying and stopping human trafficking. Sapp Bros. has recognized that TAT has the best resources and gives us the best opportunity to educate ourselves and our guests to be part of the solution to irradiate human trafficking."
- KeHE Summer Show, New Orleans, LA, FDP and Laura Cyrus, TAT Corporate Engagement director, and Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, attending
- Mississippi DOT law enforcement training, Jackson, MS, Kylla Lanier, TAT deptuy director, and Annika Huff, TAT training specialist and survivor-advocate, presenting
- UPS Freight Headquarters, Richmond, VA, Helen Van Dam, FDP director, and Barbara Amaya, survivor, presenting
- Virginia Motorcoach Association Operator Retreat, Fredericksburg, VA, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting
- Avon and Eagle Police Department briefing, Avon, CO, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- Oklahoma Highway Patrol training, Oklahoma City, OK, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, TAT training specialist and survivor-advocate, presenting
- Colorado Department of Revenue law enforcement briefing, Golden, CO, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- TA/Petro 2020 Leadership Expo, Sandusky, OH, Esther Goetsch, TAT Coalition Build director, and Liz Williamson, survivor-leader, presenting, and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, and FDP attending the expo on Feb. 12 only
- LafargeHolcim Manager's Meeting, Orlando, FL, Laura Cyrus, TAT Corporate Engagement director, presenting
- Omnitracs Outlook Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Molly Griffiths, Corporate Engagement manager, presenting
Feb. 18 - Louisiana Motor Transit Association Winter Management Summit, Lake Charles, LA, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe, NM, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, TAT training specialist and survivor-advocate, presenting
- Southwest Transit Association Annual Conference, Shreveport, LA, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting and FDP and Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, attending
- Truck Training School Association of Ontario Conference, Mississauga, ON, Heather Fry, Canada director, attending
- Calexico Industry Day, Calexico, CA, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy 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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