Truckers Against Trafficking Receives Awardby Jana Ritter - Published: 2/27/2013
Truckers Against Trafficking was recently honored the Norma Hotaling Award, Dec. 17, in recognition for the organization's efforts in Innovative Demand Reduction in human trafficking.
To commemorate the anniversary of Norma's passing on December 17th, 2008, each year The Global Centurion Foundation (GCF) offers three awards paying tribute to Norma Hotaling's legacy and recognizing individuals continuing her life's work in combating human trafficking. Norma was trafficked into prostitution as a child and remained trapped in the sex industry for eighteen years, until she was able to free herself from the vicious cycle of abuse and exploitation. For the next two decades, Norma dedicated her life to help reach and rescue victims of prostitution and sex trafficking, along with focusing on the demand-side of sex trafficking.
As one of three winners of the 2012 Norma Hotaling Anti-Trafficking Awards, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and three of its founders were recognized for their work helping members of the trucking industry engage in the fight to end human trafficking. “Words can't express the honor of being named a winner of the 2012 Norma Hotaling Award,” said TAT National Director Kendis Paris. “It's really an award for the entire trucking industry, because they're the ones on the front lines, recognizing human trafficking when they see it, making the calls and saving lives.”
Along with Kendis Paris, the Innovative Demand Reduction Award went to Kylla Leeburg, and Lyn Thompson, Co-founders of Truckers against Trafficking.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that exists to empower and mobilize members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking by providing educational training resources to prevent modern slavery to travel plaza employees, all students of private and public truck-driving schools, and all truck drivers employed via major carriers and owners/operators. TAT also partners with law enforcement to facilitate the investigation of human trafficking and modern slavery.
The trucking industry is increasingly recognizing TAT as well. The American Trucking Association (ATA), recently joined forces with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), and as the largest national trucking association of 50 state affiliations, the ATA is the most powerful voice to ignite the trucking industry in the fight against human sex trafficking. And already, this powerful industry affiliation is proving to have significant results. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center reported that they received 193 calls from callers identifying themselves as truckers between Jan. 1, 2012-Oct. 10, 2012. To date truckers rank 14th out of 38 different caller types for all calls and they rank 8th for calls referencing potential human trafficking.
Truck drivers are not only essential to transporting so much of what we rely upon in our everyday lives; they are the eyes and ears of our roads and highways. Truck stops have become the highway of hubs of the nation's human trafficking.