Every year hundreds of thousands of women and children are forced into sexual slavery. Others are forced to work without pay. This is human trafficking, and it is modern-day slavery.
As major employers of carriers, rig workers, refineries, renewable energy and corporate personnel, the energy industry can activate its workforce to recognize and report this crime, ultimately bettering the communities in which it lives and operates.
In order to actually bring freedom to those most vulnerable, a strategic plan is essential. Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a 501c3 which has successfully empowered and equipped close to 800,000 members of the United States trucking industry, will be the primary NGO partner helping to drive this initiative.
Phase 1: Develop policies and protocols for energy companies and their contractors.
It is imperative that each sector of the energy industry understand the crime of human trafficking, the ways employees intersect with potential victims and how to report it effectively. Working alongside the Empower Freedom Task Force (EFTF), TAT will develop an industry-specific training DVD, along with a host of supporting materials, to educate and equip the industry to discover and disrupt human trafficking networks. It will also assist the industry in developing a strong anti-trafficking-in-persons policy with a demand-reduction focus that makes purchasing commercial sex on company time or with company work product unacceptable. The EFTF will oversee the mass distribution and implementation of training materials and policies, as well as provide the project funding.
Phase 2: Partner with local law enforcement to assist in the investigation of this crime.
In conjunction with the EFTF, TAT will host a series of coalition builds in major drilling regions to discover loopholes traffickers are exploiting with those communities and demonstrate how the energy industry can assist law enforcement in the investigation of this crime. As hotspots are revealed, this may include assisting in undercover stings via shared resources, manpower and data.
Phase 3: Build a bridge to freedom by providing victim services.
Through the partnership development with local and state law enforcement and government agencies in the communities in which energy employees live and operate, the EFTF will be able to assess the needs for successful victim recovery and provide for the provision of safe and secure environments for the restoration process to begin. For example, the industry may learn that it could fill a much-needed gap in temporary services, hygiene products, hotel rooms, transportation to a shelter, etc. that will enable a survivor of human trafficking to initially exit his/her situation. They may also be able to provide significant funds to long-term restoration shelters and provide employment opportunities in order to reduce the recidivism rate.
TAT is looking for powerful energy companies who are passionate about bettering the communities they impact to become pillars of the Empower Freedom Task Force. Please note, currently Phase 1 buy-in is the only requirement to join the task force. Please note, currently Phase 1 buy-in is the only requirement to join the task force. Once the training is more widespread, Phase 2 and Phase 3 implementation will begin. Task force members will bring their influence, connections, expertise and resources to bear in order to unite their industry behind this work and ensure freedom is brought to those who need it most.
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