In modern-day America where people have an unprecedented amount of freedom and opportunity, it may surprise you to know that there are more slaves in captivity today than ever before. This slavery takes place in the form of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the act of buying and selling people for forced labor or commercial sex. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are 20.9 million slaves, mostly women and children. In America alone, the number of slaves is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. This heinous crime has been reported in all 50 states, with Oklahoma’s three interstates making it a primary/main trade route. Traffickers recruit victims through various ways such as online, outside of schools, and off the streets. They lure in potential victims with promises of money and a better life. But they typically use more drastic measures like drugs and abduction. Regardless of the method used, the most common ending for those captured is to disappear and never be seen again.
In 2015 the state of Oklahoma, through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), received 109 phone calls and 31 actual cases of trafficking activity. This was made possible through the vigilance and action of citizens just like you! In fact, members of the trucking industry have an even greater chance to help the victims of human trafficking. As the eyes and ears of the nation’s highway system, you have the unique opportunity to help patrol and report any suspicious activity to the NHTRC. Organizations like Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) work to educate drivers on the potential signs of trafficking and the best approach to reporting such activity. With the help and education of organizations like T.A.T., truckers have made over 1,200 calls to the NHTRC and identified 400 likely human trafficking cases! That’s 400 lives who now have a chance because of the actions of truck drivers who took the time and made a call!
If you see any suspicious activity out on the road, please call the NHTRC. Who knows, you just might save a life!
National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888