We continued our support of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) in 2019 by helping arm law enforcement officials with the knowledge and tools to combat human trafficking in their communities. TAT, a nonprofit agency, operates in all 50 U.S. states and is designed to support local law enforcement agencies as they discover and disrupt human trafficking networks by educating, equipping, empowering and mobilizing members of the trucking and travel plaza industry.
Globally, an estimated 25 million people are victims of forced labor, coerced to participate in some type of labor or commercial sex act by force, fraud or coercion. Forced labor includes human trafficking, which occurs in both large cities and rural areas. Women and girls are disproportionately affected, accounting for 99 percent of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58 percent in other sectors, according to the International Labour Organization. Victims of this highly profitable crime are from all age groups, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our donations funded law enforcement training:
- 50 investigators from approximately 20 states at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) National Training Center in Oklahoma.
- Two first-time trainings on the topic for New Hampshire State Police.
- 70 officers in two joint trainings for California Highway Patrol and Nevada Highway Patrol.
- Four first-time trainings and a “Train the Trainer” session for Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Transportation HERO unit attended by 325 officers.
Additionally, we partially funded the training for:
- North American Inspectors Challenge (50 officers, one from each state).
- Indiana State Police (100 officers).
- Maine Chiefs of Police (85 Chiefs).
- Montana Highway Patrol (40 officers).
“One of the biggest weapons in the fight against human trafficking is education. So, by supporting training about how to recognize and respond to situations where human trafficking may be occurring, we are working to address the problem. While human trafficking is not directly related to our operations, we can help curb modern day slavery by supporting efforts like Truckers Against Trafficking,” said ConocoPhillips Stakeholder Engagement and Social Responsibility Director James Viray.
We have also hosted training events that bring together oil and natural gas companies and their suppliers (many of whom have their own trucking fleets), with law enforcement agencies, general managers of truck stops, representatives of trucking companies and state trucking associations. In these workshops, participants learn about the realities of domestic sex trafficking, how the trucking industry can combat it, and how to report suspected trafficking situations. They also hear from a survivor who shares anecdotal information about how traffickers maintain control over their victims, who are often hidden in plain sight.