The complete statistics from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) are out for 2011 with a breakdown of data from truck stops. Some of the highlights include:
- The NHTRC received 185 calls from callers who self-identified as truckers. Over 50 percent of these calls referenced human trafficking tips or crisis cases.
- The most common way calls learned of the NHTRC was via TAT.
- The NHTRC received reports about 79 unique cases of potential human trafficking at truck stops in 2011 — 35 of those contained a high level of critical information and demonstrated key indicators relevant to identifying a human trafficking situation.
- Demographic data of potential victims breaks down as 1 male, 33 females, 7 were adults, 30 were minors, and 17 were US citizens.
- The top five states, in descending order, for location of potential trafficking were Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio.
Two example vignettes include:
While driving through Flagstaff, AZ late at night, a trucker pulled over at a truck stop near the highway. The driver observed a man who appeared to be in his late 30s with a young girl who appeared to be around 13 years old. At first the driver didn’t think anything was wrong, but after observing the man and the young girl approach several other truckers, the driver became increasingly suspicious. The driver spoke with one of the other truckers, who told him the man with the young girl was offering to sell her for commercial sex to the various truckers they’d approached. The driver hadn’t been to this particular truck stop in the past, and he asked the other trucker if he’d seen the man and the girl before. After indicating that the situation wasn’t new, the other trucker explained that, while he was disturbed by what was occurring, he didn’t know what to do with the information. The driver decided to contact the NHTRC, since he’d heard about the human trafficking hotline on a radio spot by TAT. After receiving the driver’s report, the NHTRC reported the information to a federal law enforcement taskforce that works specifically on cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Early one morning, a truck driver contacted the NHTRC to report a situation involving several young girls. A few days previously, the truck driver had been at a truck stop in Arkansas and had observed three teenage girls offering commercial sex. The trucker wasn’t sure of their exact ages, but thought they looked very young. In the past, the trucker had observed women at this particular truck stop offering commercial sex, but this was the first time she’d seen anyone this young. At first, she was hesitant to report the sitaution, but she’d noticed that all of the young girls were picked up by the same van each morning, which she found suspicious. After seeing a newspaper story about human trafficking and hearing a radio commcercial by TAT that featured the hotline number and discussed the issue, she decided to call and report what she’d seen. The NHTRC contacted a federal law enforcement taskforce that works specifically on cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children and provided them with information about the truck stop.