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How Werner Helps in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Jan 10, 2023 | Truck Drivers

The latest data shows an estimated 27.6 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. Victims come from all backgrounds, all age groups and all nationalities, meaning no one is excluded from this threat.

While the number of persons prosecuted for human trafficking in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2011 and 2021, there is still a need for continued awareness and education so we can put an end to this heinous crime.

What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims are forced to perform labor, often sex work, under threats of violence or through other means of manipulation, such as the withholding of immigration documents. Females are disproportionately affected, accounting for 71 percent of victims. Migrant workers and indigenous people are also at high risk.

In addition to forms of forced labor, most victims are forced to live under inhumane conditions. They may be denied access to basic necessities, such as water and electricity, and are typically kept in isolation from the outside world.

How Does Human Trafficking Relate to the Trucking Industry?
Truck stops unfortunately become convenient places for traffickers to conduct illicit business. They offer easy access off highways and are usually located away from central areas, providing seclusion. This can make it harder to monitor for suspicious people and activities.

While truck stops are a popular spot among these criminals, human trafficking has no boundaries. Traffickers can be lurking nearly anywhere, from businesses to seemingly quiet neighborhoods. Professional drivers are frequently in these locations, both when on and off the job. That’s why they can be effective trafficking combatants to help alleviate this ongoing crisis. Educated drivers who have the tools to spot, approach and report these issues will help victims get the support they need.

How Werner Is Making a Difference

fight against human trafficking

At Werner, raising awareness around human trafficking is a priority – from the C-suite to our more than 10,000 professional drivers on the road. We strive for everyone to have the knowledge and skills to help trafficking victims, while always staying vigilant.

Our vast network across North America means Werner professional drivers are instrumental in the fight against human trafficking. Professional drivers are trained to spot the warning signs so they can safely intervene if they suspect human trafficking. As the adage goes, “see something, say something.” This is the philosophy instilled in our drivers through our resources and training and Werner’s trafficking hotline. Our professional drivers are encouraged to call Werner’s trafficking hotline through our Driver Werner Pro App.

As part of our continued commitment to help end trafficking, we doubled human trafficking training hours for professional drivers and extended training to all Werner associates in 2023. Between our professional drivers and all other staff, we completed 15,172 hours of Truckers Against Trafficking training. Werner aims to create an updated, tiered recognition program for customers and vendors to partner in our efforts to drive human trafficking awareness and prevention by 2025.

In 2020, we signed the U.S Department of Transportation’s Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative. This voluntary pledge ensures that Werner, alongside other industry organizations, will continue to educate our associates and help raise awareness amongst the public.

To learn more about how you can join Werner and the many other companies and organizations helping to eliminate human trafficking, or to report an incident, we encourage you to check out some of the resources listed below or visit the Department of Justice’s resource page.

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