Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Alabama Trucking backs the National Human Trafficking Database Act

On June 13, the National Human Trafficking Database Act (S. 4534) was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), authorizes $50 million a year through fiscal 2028 to advance a human trafficking database at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The bill also incentivizes state agencies to report data specific to human trafficking.

On Monday, July 1, Alabama Trucking Association CEO Mark Colson announced that he has signed his Association on to a letter of support for Sens. Klobuchar and Blackburn from the American Trucking Association, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and several other state trucking organizations.

The letter states that as representatives of national and state trucking associations that partner with TAT, America’s trucking industry wholeheartedly supports the “National Trafficking Database Act.”

“This legislation is critical for enhancing data collection and sharing across states to combat human trafficking effectively,” said Colson. “Alabama Trucking leaders have been on the front line of the fight to end human trafficking for more than a decade. We commend the sponsorship of this bill and stand united to protect vulnerable individuals and bring traffickers to justice.”

For over fifteen years, TAT has trained almost 2 million transportation professionals to recognize and report human trafficking to local law enforcement agencies, including several thousand in Alabama.

The Alabama Trucking Association and the ATA Foundation have supported TAT’s mission for over a decade with regular funding as a Silver Sponsor and have acted as a training partner bringing together multiple state companies, entities and organizations engaged in the same or similar business model, face the same challenges and are united by their commonalities.

Human trafficking is a global crime in which people are bought and sold for forced labor or commercial sex. Traffickers use violence, manipulation and false promises of work opportunities or romance to lure, control and exploit their victims. Of the estimated 50 million victims worldwide, thousands of girls, boys, women and men are trafficked for sex or labor in the U.S. and Canada.

In response to these realities, TAT recognizes that trucking, along with other members of the transportation industry, is perfectly positioned in the course of their everyday jobs to provide an extra set of eyes and ears to law enforcement in helping to identify both victims and perpetrators of human trafficking. 

The very nature of their jobs — with their extensive travel, the variety of venues they visit, and their sheer numbers – creates opportunities for members of these industries to interact with potential victims of human trafficking regularly. They just need training to both identify and report human trafficking when they see it.