BOWIE, Md. — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has joined in the global fight against human trafficking by partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT).
TAT is a nonprofit organization that trains professional truck drivers and others, including tire dealers, on best practices in recognizing the red flags of human trafficking and reporting it.
The trucking industry is helping to break up human trafficking organizations and save victims by learning to recognize the signs and alerting TAT through the National Human Trafficking hotline. Truckers have made more than 2,600 calls to the hotline, generating over 700 cases, involving more than 1,200 victims, the organization said.
In the last five years, 41% of the cases truckers have reported to the hotline involve minors.
T.J. Trum, a TIA board member and general counsel of Pomp's Tire Service Inc., a TAT partner, encouraged TIA to join with TAT during the association's recent summer board meeting, receiving universal support from the board.
"Today, I am extremely proud that our industry has unequivocally stated in one voice that it does not tolerate human trafficking in our communities," Mr. Trum said.
"TIA's commitment will amplify the mission and voice of Truckers Against Trafficking by reaching and training more TIA members. It is very possible that someone in the TIA network could very well be the difference maker that brings a victim of human trafficking home and an offender to justice."
TAT provides training on how to recognize human trafficking and contact the National Human Trafficking hotline at 888-373-7888.
"Tire dealerships are well positioned to raise awareness with their customers about the realities of human trafficking," TAT Executive Director Kendis Paris said.
"This partnership with the Tire Industry Association is ideal for TAT, insofar as TIA can play a key role as amplifier in getting the word out to their members. We are extremely hopeful that their efforts will result in a host of TAT Dealership Partners all across the nation, and we are thrilled to be working with such a powerhouse."