Truckers Helping NJ Fight Human Trafficking before Super Bowl

January 21, 2014

Stopping Human Trafficking

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is calling on America's truckers to be on the lookout for signs of human trafficking as the Super Bowl approaches. While you won't hear sports announcers discussing the issue during pregame festivities, sex trafficking has emerged as a serious problem in the lead up to the Super Bowl. In an effort to curb human trafficking before this year's championship battle at Rutherford's New Meadowlands Stadium, New Jersey law enforcement agencies are partnering with truckers, truck stop workers and local churches to raise awareness of the issue and increase reporting of suspected trafficking.

Taking point for the trucking community are the New Jersey Motor Truck Association and Truckers Against Trafficking, a non-profit group dedicated to educating truckers, truck stop workers, travel plaza employees, travelers and others about how to spot and report human trafficking. Human trafficking occurs when people, often women and children but sometimes men, are held against their will and exploited, typically for sex or labor. According to the Polaris Project, a private, non-profit organization focused on ending human trafficking, human trafficking "is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries" in the U.S. "with 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade."

In an NBC News report Secretary of State John Kerry said millions of trafficking victims go unidentified every year. "There are countless voiceless people ... being exploited who look to us for their freedom."

Truck drivers are being asked to be the eyes and ears that help set human trafficking victims free. If you spot or suspect human trafficking while traveling through New Jersey, call the 24/7 toll-free New Jersey Human Trafficking Hotline at 855-End-NJ-HT (855-363-6548). The Polaris Project's National Human Trafficking Resource Center also operates a 24/7/365 toll-free hotline. Report suspected human trafficking anywhere in the country by calling the hotline at 888-373-7888 or texting BeFree (233733).

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