Volume 10 Issue 10
Human Trafficking in the News
Truckers Against Trafficking expands mission to Canada
A new partnership aims to fight human trafficking in Canada.
Truckers Against Trafficking
is partnering with the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking to raise awareness of both the issue and a new hotline for reporting trafficking to Canadian authorities. As trafficking is a global problem, and with the natural industry overlap between the U.S. and Canadian borders, TAT is indeed expanding its programming into Canada," said Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking.
Every two minutes, a child is being prepared
for sexual exploitation and human trafficking
Every two minutes, a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation, according to a report from Unicef. Perhaps more disturbing, according to Shared Hope International, is that child victims might be raped, or used for sex for money, by 6,000 men over the course of a five-night-per-week schedule.
How to look out for signs of grooming for sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse is unfortunately common. According to Amy Pumo, the Director of Clinical Services at the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18. That is no small number of kids. And while you don't want to think about that happening to your kid, being aware of the signs of sexual abuse and sexual predators is deeply important. One of the most common ways that a child is sexually abused, after all, involves people the family already knows.
TAT Board of Directors elects Linda Burtwistle,
president and CEO of Coach USA
The Board of Directors for Truckers Against Trafficking has elected its first representative from the bus industry, Linda Burtwistle, president and CEO of Coach USA and Megabus.com. Burtwistle has over 20-years' experience in the international transportation industry. She previously served as president of First Student and president of First Transit in the United States, as well as CFO of the Virgin Rail Group in the United Kingdom.
She currently sits on the board of the American Bus Association and was recently named vice chair of the USDOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. She has helped open doors for BOTL to other bus companies in North America.
"I am honored to have been invited to join the board of TAT, said Burtwistle. "They are a wonderful organization, fully committed to their cause. I am very much looking forward to working with TAT and the bus industry to support the eradication of these heinous crimes."
In the past year, Coach USA has BOTL-trained and registered over 2,600 bus drivers and other employees in the U.S. and Canada. One of these BOTL-trained drivers and safety directors from the Lakefront Lines subsidiary in Ohio assisted in the recovery of a victim and arrest of an alleged trafficker after a young woman asked the bus driver for help, and the company immediately got law enforcement involved. For these actions, the driver and safety director were awarded TAT's prestigious Harriet Tubman Award, an annual award presented by Protective Insurance.
In addition to training, Coach USA has provided financial support to TAT/BOTL as a Silver Level corporate sponsor, and Megabus donated ticket vouchers for survivors to access. In the month of August alone, five Megabus vouchers were used to help survivors access specialized services.
TAT launch into Canada multi-faceted
With the opening of the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline earlier this year, operated by the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (CCEHT), with whom TAT partners, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has been working to lay a strong foundation for an effective launch into that nation. Here are two of the most recent happenings:
TAT Canada Director
Heather Fry joins TAT as Canada director. Founder and former executive director of Impact Orphans, Heather has been working on behalf of the vulnerable and exploited for over a decade. "Human trafficking is an issue I feel very strongly about," she stated, "so it is truly an honor to be part of such an impactful organization as TAT. As we launch into Canada, our aim is to build strategic partnerships within the public and private sectors that will drive momentum in tackling this dreadful crime. The expertise of Canadian industry leaders in trucking, bus and energy will be key as we enter the Canadian market and look for distinctives that maximize our efforts and impact in Canada. I am thrilled to partner with our neighbors in Canada to further build our mobile army and extend TAT's reach throughout North America."
Coalition Build: Briefing on Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Canada
TAT and CCEHT will cohost a Coalition Build (CB) on Oct. 29 at the Thomas Reuters Customer Care Center in Toronto, Ontario. Designed to activate public-private partnerships to combat human trafficking, the CB will bring together key trucking, bus, truck stop, and energy industry stakeholders, alongside law enforcement and government agencies. Participants will learn about TAT's work in the United States and explore ways to partner, using existing successful strategies and models for implementation. The three-hour event will consist of presentations by CCEHT, TAT and a survivor leader and end with a panel discussion, including law enforcement and industry partners.
Esther Goetsch, TAT's Coalition Build director, enthused, "CCEHT has been very pleased to have TAT come to their headquarters in Toronto for strategic meetings, to meet their team and learn more about each other's work. They have been sending out the invitation for the CB to both local and national partners and have found those interested and excited to attend and learn more about TAT. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be at the meeting, and they have also expressed enthusiasm about TAT expanding into Canada. We are inviting
all of our U.S. partners with Canadian counterparts to help us bring the critical stakeholders to the table.
Many have responded quickly and enthusiastically about attending. But we have room for many more."
If you're interested in attending the Oct. 29 Coalition Build in Toronto,
Paris trains TA headquarters staff for Travel Centers of America and provides keynote at the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking Annual Luncheon
Kendis Paris, TAT's executive director, presented on human trafficking, the basics of TAT and the components of TAT's partnership with Travel Centers of America (TA) to headquarters employees in Cleveland to help them understand their role in the fight against human trafficking. This is TAT's first time to present at TA headquarters. TA has partnered with TAT since 2011, is a Freedom Driver level sponsor and Barry Richards, TA president and COO, sits on the TAT Board of Directors.
The following day, Paris provided the keynote address for the annual luncheon of
Collaborative to End Human Trafficking in Cleveland. Among the audience were members of Ohio DOT, the Ohio Turnpike Commission, TA and Lyft. This event, sponsored by TA, is both a community awareness event and a fundraiser for the Collaborative.
"In addressing both the groups at TA Headquarters and at the Collaborative's luncheon, I was able to shine the spotlight on our excellent partnership with Travel Centers of America, which has brought their resources to bear in combating the crime of human trafficking and has made a significant impact," Paris elaborated. "The Collaborative to End Human Trafficking shares a like-minded approach with TAT, insofar as they are all about targeted systems change with key stakeholders to create a safety net for victim recognition and recovery. It was a pleasure being with both groups, and seeing firsthand the great work being done in Northeast Ohio."
CVSA conference cements law enforcement partnerships, old and new
Law enforcement from throughout North America attended the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conference in Biloxi, Mississippi, Sept. 23-29, giving Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) the opportunity to meet with long-time partners as well as make connections and form new partnerships. TAT Deputy Director Kylla Lanier presented to the audience of over 600, and also joined with TAT Canada Director Heather Fry and TAT Training Specialist Louie Greek to network with those in attendance.
TAT Deputy Director Kylla Lanier speaks with a Mississippi law enforcement officer.
"Just as the Great American Trucking Show and the Mid-America Trucking Show are critical events for TAT staff to engage with trucking industry stakeholders as well as individual drivers each year, the CVSA conferences are vitally important for TAT in connecting with law enforcement from around North America," explained Lanier, "working together to combat human trafficking and making alliances with the top commercial vehicle enforcement officers in each state to strategically and systematically close loopholes to traffickers who seek to exploit our nation's highways."
By the end of the conference, TAT efforts had resulted in:
- States committing to implementing the remaining elements of the Iowa MVE model (47 states are now working with TAT on Iowa MVE implementation).
- Requests by state patrols for TAT's four-hour, in-depth law enforcement training in 2020.
- Confirmation that the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has added TAT materials in to both Part A and Part B of their curriculum, and this material will be a standard part of their handbooks used throughout the U.S.
- Contacts in Canada as well as interest in the Coalition Build in Toronto on Oct. 29. (TAT presented to Region V, which encompasses the 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada). Law enforcement showed great interest in helping advance TAT's mission by making connections between TAT and the Canadian transportation industry as well as working with TAT on the implementation and expansion of the Iowa MVE model.
- Contacts with law enforcement and government agencies in Mexico in an effort to advance the work of TAT's partners from Consejo Ciudadano in their forays with the transportation industry to combat human trafficking.
Dressember chooses Busing on the Lookout
as a partner for 2019
Annie Sovcik, director of Busing on the Lookout (BOTL), announces BOTL's selection as a partner for Dressember 2019. Dressember hosts an annual style challenge where men and women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress or tie every day in December. This simple act has resulted in over $7.5 million raised for the fight to end human trafficking.
This year, your participation in Dressember will support BOTL's mission. The Dressember style challenge is a fun and easy way to make a difference and get involved. Simply make a campaign page on their website, set a goal and start spreading the word. You can join a team, start your own team or do the challenge solo. Dressember will provide you with resources and stories to motivate, equip and encourage you along the way. Find out more and sign up at
"We are delighted the Dressember Foundation is supporting our work with the bus industry," said Sovcik. "With this support, we will be able to expand the efforts of the BOTL program to facilitate training and network building between law enforcement, casinos and bus companies operating in gaming towns, as well as increase the reach of our victim-centered awareness campaigns."
- Nevada Highway Patrol and California Highway Patrol joint trainings, Las Vegas, NV, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, TAT field trainer and survivor-advocate, presenting
- American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition, San Diego, CA, Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, and Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, exhibiting at booth 3079
- Connecticut Association for Community Transportation Expo, Hartford, CT, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Summit, Anaheim, CA, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting
- New Hampshire Coalition Build, Concord, NH, FDP and Esther Goetsch, TAT Coalition Build director, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, and Beth Jacobs, TAT field trainer and survivor-advocate, presenting
- Zonar Systems Lunch and Learn, Seattle, WA, Helen Van Dam, FDP director, presenting
Oct. 16 - United Way of Greater Nashua "A Community Response to Human Trafficking," Nashua, NH, FDP open to the public from 4:30-7 p.m., Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, presenting
- National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, Drumright, OK, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting
Oct. 17 -
Commercial Vehicle Training Association Fall Conference, Indianapolis, IN, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
- Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Transportation Training, Edmond, OK, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting
- Indiana law enforcement trainings, Indianapolis, IN, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, survivor-advocate and TAT field trainer, presenting
- International Foodservice Distributors Association Distribution Solutions Conference, Orlando, FL, Laura Cyrus, TAT corporate engagement director, presenting and the FDP and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, attending
- Canada Coalition Build, Toronto, Ontario, Esther Goetsch, TAT Coalition Build director, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director and Heather Fry, TAT Canada director, presenting
- North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Atlanta, GA, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
Oct. 30-Nov. 1
- Georgia State Patrol law enforcement trainings, Forsyth, GA, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, survivor-advocate and TAT field trainer, 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 email@example.com to explore our giving opportunities.
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