In response to several recent legislative activities regarding human trafficking, Truckers Against Trafficking released the following statement:
Given all of the legislative movement as of late, we want to make a statement about how TAT is operating. First and foremost, we think we can all agree that human trafficking should be fought. The question really is: How best do we do that? In trying to answer that question, TAT, while certainly learning as we go, is working with its trucking industry partners. From the beginning we have made our materials free-of-charge and asked the industry to voluntarily adopt the training … and we are still doing that. At the same time, the broader anti-trafficking movement has been hard at work getting every sector of our society – including legislators at the local, state and national levels – involved in combating the evils of human trafficking, and it is not surprising that we are seeing a host of new laws being offered for consideration.
At the state level, we never make a move without the support of our trucking partners in that particular state. And at times, TAT is only finding out about these bills via a media story (or other third party) and then contacting the state in order to try and weigh in on the matter. We fully recognize the concerns around the Arkansas law that recently passed requiring our training, and we have been working non-stop to co-brand training certificates for all Ark.-based companies who had already adopted the training (or recently began) in order to expedite the process for all concerned. We will do the same in Kansas, where a similar law has already been put in place. Moving forward, we will be asking states who are pushing for across-the-board mandates to consider training implementation in CDL schools only, where drivers already find themselves in a classroom setting. Please note that it’s not just truck drivers being required to train; it’s hotel employees, hair dressers, ER workers, and the list continues. When we do gain a seat at the table, we are working to make these laws as effective as possible, and as palatable to the industry as can be.
We are fully aware that trucking is one of the most over-regulated industries, and that you cannot legislate the mind and heart. We also recognize that both sides of the aisle are coming together around this issue, and therefore it is imperative that we try and work with them to form the legislation being proposed so that it does take into consideration the needs and concerns of the industry.
To date, the only federal bill we have given our support to is Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bill (S1536), which would designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. DOT, increase outreach, education and reporting efforts at the FMCSA, and provide CDL schools who are implementing anti-trafficking education additional financial assistance. This bill only incentivizes training at the federal level; it does not mandate it.
Ultimately, we want to see those who are enslaved set free, and we want to work with industry to accomplish this goal. We are asking for your continued support in this effort, and want you to know that your concerns are being heard and acted upon.