Attorney General Alan Wilson, the South Carolina Trucking Association, and Truckers Against Trafficking Collaborate on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – January 11, 2018 Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise worldwide with estimates of 42 million people being exploited each year. It is also a crime that is impacting communities across the nation and our state. The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General is leading the way in counter-human-trafficking efforts through prevention education, prosecution, and the office’s support of innovative collaborations.

Attorney General Alan Wilson welcomed trucking association members, trucking plaza industry representatives, and 25 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to Columbia for a Trucking Against Traffickers (TAT) coalition build. The coalition build was designed to establish an effective working relationship between these stakeholders with the aim of effectively combatting human trafficking in South Carolina. The South Carolina Attorney General’s event is tied to efforts to bring increased knowledge of the crime on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

“Truckers are in a unique position to be able to see possible trafficking victims at truck stops, travel centers and rest areas,” said Attorney General Wilson. “Having the trucking industry working together with law enforcement will help us fight human trafficking, which is far more widespread than most people realize.”

The one-day coalition build included the Attorney General’s staff, law enforcement agencies, trucking carriers and truck stop managers and is designed to help educate trucking industry employees about human trafficking. At the conference, truckers were provided with the tools they need to spot the warning signs, so they can effectively work with law enforcement to fight human trafficking. The event also featured different speakers including the Coordinator of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, a trafficking survivor, and a speakers’ panel composed of various federal, state, and local law enforcement. The Freedom Drivers Project, a 48-foot mobile exhibit designed to educate the public about human trafficking, was available for tours in the morning and again in the afternoon.
The South Carolina Trucking Association is a nonprofit trade organization that represents all the various parties constituting South Carolina’s vibrant trucking industry. As the newest member of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, the South Carolina Trucking Association is invested in supporting law enforcement efforts to end human trafficking in the state.

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime, impacting thousands of children, women and men,” said Rick Todd, President and CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association. “No one can thwart the power and scope of these crimes alone. But truckers want to do their part, by becoming aware and getting trained – in case they need to make the call when they see someone who is in need of help.

In 2009, Truckers Against Trafficking was created as a way to bring education, awareness, and empowerment to truck drivers across the nation. According to TAT, traffickers push their “wares” at different, nationwide locations frequented by truckers. Through webinars, trainings, and presentations, truckers are taught the signs of human trafficking so they can be a second pair of eyes and ears to law enforcement while on the road.

“Bringing law enforcement and key industry stakeholders together to close loopholes to traffickers is what TAT is all about. We’re very excited to be in Columbia on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and believe this meeting will have exponential effects,” said Esther Goetsch, TAT Coalition Build Specialist.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

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Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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