Going the Extra Mile

Sunset behind truck driving on road

If you had to pick one profession that has the best chance to end sex trafficking, what profession would you pick? Would it be law enforcement? Criminal law? Federal and state governments? Those are logical choices and they certainly have an important role to play in combatting sex trafficking. However, I would argue that trucking has just as an important role to play, and even greater potential to end sex trafficking than either of the other three.

It is a well known fact among pimps and traffickers around the world that the trucking profession provides a sizable, profitable and reliable customer base. Pimps are known to specifically target truck stops, rest areas and other trucking locations as a good place to do business. Although I am not aware of exact estimates, it is safe to say, based on the pimps behavior, that the professional driver is a key demographic of the buyer demand, quite possibly to the point where pimps and traffickers rely on their money.

So, what would happen to the business of sex trafficking, if the driver stopped paying for sex? It would be catastrophic. Just imagine how any industry would survive if they lost one of their largest consumer bases. For example, imagine if teen boys and young adult men (18-34 yrs old), which make up the largest consumer base of energy drinks, stopped buying energy drinks. Would it create a crisis within the industry? Absolutely! Many companies would go out of business and the rest would be forced to drastically reduce their operations.

A similar fate would befall sex traffickers, if the professional driver stopped paying for sex. Many traffickers would go out of business and the others would be forced to reduce their operations. Ultimately that would lead to a drastic reduction of victims being exploited.

This is why TFC Global created the Gateway to Freedom Foundation with a focus of educating the professional driver and company about demand reduction. As it turns out many trucking companies are educating their drivers about how to identify human trafficking and what to do if they see it, but they are not educating them about the harms of consumer sex and how it fuels sex trafficking. Trucking companies can go the extra mile in the fight against sex trafficking by partnering with the Gateway to Freedom Foundation to educate their drivers about consumer sex, and providing resources to help them get free.

If you are a professional driver and you would like to learn more about demand reduction within the industry, please contact the Gateway to Freedom Foundation at gateway@tfcglobal.org.

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