​Trucking Industry Recognizes Congressional Champions in Fight Against Human Trafficking: Eight Members Of Congress Are Recognized With 2020 Hero Award From Trucking Cares Foundation

March 2020

Washington, DC… The Trucking Cares Foundation—the charitable arm of American Trucking Associations— recently recognized eight members of Congress for their outstanding efforts to combat human trafficking.

The Foundation presented a bipartisan group of four senators and four representatives with the 2020 Hero Award following a briefing in the United States Capitol Building entitled, “Advancing Legislative Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking.”

The following eight members of Congress were recognized for their leadership on this issue, through a combination of sponsoring key legislation, raising national awareness, and chairing legislative caucuses committed to the issue of trafficking:

* Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

* Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

* Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

* Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

* Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

* Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)

* Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)

* Rep. John Katko (R-NY)

As the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways, America’s trucking industry plays a vital role in closing the loopholes in our transportation system that human traffickers exploit for their illicit enterprises. Traffickers exploit the transportation sector in all phases of human trafficking: recruitment, moving and controlling victims, and for delivering victims to buyers for commercial sex or forced labor.

ATA, along with its affiliated 50 state trucking associations, are working closely with industry partners, NGOs and government officials together to educate and train the 7.4 million people in the trucking industry to identify and report situations where tracking could be occurring.

“Eradicating human trafficking is one of the major pillars of focus for the Trucking Cares Foundation,” said the foundation’s Chairman Phil Byrd, President and CEO of Bulldog HiWay Express. “Beyond serving on the front lines, our industry can help raise awareness by recognizing those partners in government who provide the tools and resources we need to fight the good fight. The 2020 Hero Award does just that, and we thank these members of Congress for their commitment to this important cause.”

ATA First Vice Chair Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, President and CEO of Garner Transportation Group, was one of 15 stakeholders on the U.S. Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, which presented its final report to Secretary Chao in July 2019.

“The legislators being recognized today truly embody the recommendations that the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking outlined in our report,” said Garner Brumbaugh. “From providing top-level leadership, to raising national awareness, to advancing critical legislation, their tireless efforts—combined with the efforts of the trucking industry and other NGOs—are what’s needed to eradicate trafficking and save countless lives from unspeakable evil.”

In recent years, the industry has made nearly 2,500 calls to the national hotline to report possible instances of trafficking. Those calls generated almost 700 active cases in which more than 1,240 victims were identified and rescued.

While the exact scope of human trafficking is difficult to ascertain, globally it is estimated that as many as 24.9 million men, women, and children are exploited in various forms of contemporary slave-like practices. The federal government estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 persons are trafficked into the United States every year. Indicators of human trafficking within the United States include 5,147 reports made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018, and over 10,000 reports related to child sex trafficking made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2017.