UPS to Begin Training Delivery Drivers to Spot Human Trafficking
On January 23rd, UPS announced via social media that they were partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking in order to train all UPS drivers in spotting signs of human trafficking.
“Today, we committed to training every UPS driver in the US on how to spot and report signs of human trafficking. Through our collaboration with Truckers Against Trafficking Freedom Drivers Project, we are bringing more than 130,000 men and women into action, to spot and report signs of human trafficking,” said UPS in a Facebook post.
Per Fox 8 in Orlando, UPS has already trained their freight drivers, the men and women who drive volume loads cross country in semis, in this area. By extending the training to local delivery drivers who ring doorbells and make rounds in neighborhoods, UPS is casting a much wider net at a very local level.
In 2018, an FBI Task Force in Everett recovered 13 victims of sex trafficking, two underage and all of them female. No arrests were made as it was a restorative and information seeking task force. All contacted victims were given referrals for job training, housing, medical care, and education assistance in order to interrupt the cycle of abuse and control that hampers victims from accessing community resources.
Snohomish and King counties have high rates of human trafficking, relative to more rural settings. The population density and ease of access along the I5 corridor and down Hwy 99 provide easy avenues to move people along and/or exploit them. While the reported rates are high, the actual tracking of illicit activity is notoriously difficult; the nature of it precludes accurate reporting, as victims fear abuse or retaliation from their captors, may be under the delusion (carefully cultivated by their abusers) that they shouldn’t report, or may even fear arrest.
UPS delivery drivers are in a unique position to report signs of trafficking while out on their delivery routes. “It puts a different layer on their relationship that we have with our drivers to understand it’s not just about the company. It’s not just about our employees, but it’s truly about our community. This issue impacts everyone.”
Training is due to begin soon, on a national level.
Image courtesy of UPS.com