Truckers Take The Wheel In Effort To Halt Sex Trafficking
Kylla Lanier and Kendis Paris co-founded Truckers Against Trafficking a few years ago. It dawned on them that truckers would be great allies.
"Trafficking happens everywhere," Lanier says. "It's happening in homes, in conference centers, at schools, casinos, truck stops, hotels, motels, everywhere. You know, it's an everywhere problem, but truckers happen to be everywhere."
And these days TAT stickers, wallet cards and posters — showing a phone number for a sex trafficking hotline — are becoming ubiquitous in the trucking industry.
TAT teaches drivers to try to spot sullen, hopeless-looking children, teens and young adults. Perhaps they're wearing revealing clothing, or maybe have tattoos like bar codes or men's names that might indicate ownership. The group also promotes a hotline to report trafficking.
Kendis Paris, elected as a U.S. Ashoka Fellow in 2013, is the co-founder of Truckers Against Trafficking. Beginning with the trucking industry, Kendis is building an anti-human trafficking rapid alert and awareness model that could be applied across every mode of transportation in the U.S. and beyond.
NPR recently explored the incredible impact TAT is having in an often-unseen part of society. So far, TAT has trained a quarter million truck drivers, and 23 states have copied the model approach it developed with the Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency.