Truckers Against Trafficking Partnership with OOIDA
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a nonprofit organization that was formed to combat one of the nation’s fastest growing and most heinous crimes, human trafficking for the sex trade industry. TAT educates members of the travel plaza and truck industry on how to recognize the signs that someone is a victim and what to do about it. The organization also works with law enforcement agencies, the FBI and other groups.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is partnering with TAT to help them in their efforts to stop human trafficking. OOIDA is the largest national association that represents the interests of truckers and trucking professionals. They were established in 1973 and currently have a membership of over 150,000 nationwide.
In order to spread their message, TAT has created TAT wallet cards. OOIDA keeps the cards on hand in The Spirit of the American Trucker, their tour truck, to hand out. They also keep them on-hand at their headquarters in the Greater Kansas City, MO., area. Members that visit the headquarters often take stacks of them so that they can hand them out to other truckers on the road.
Jim Johnston, the president of OOIDA, stated that they are proud to be an official partner with TAT because TATs efforts to stop human trafficking are so important. He stated that his association can help spread TATs message through their website home page, social media and other channels, in addition to handing out the TAT wallet cards.
The national president of TAT, Kendis Paris, stated that their partnership with OOIDA is important in reaching as many people as possible to educate them, especially those who are likely to encounter trafficking victims, such as trucking professionals. He stated that not all law enforcement personnel have the training to handle human trafficking situations. Because of that, it is vital that tips are reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) rather than 911. The center forwards the tips to the FBI and local police who have been trained to conduct those types of investigations. To report a possible human trafficking situation, individuals should call the NHTRC national hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Callers do not have to give their names.