How UPS Combats Human Trafficking

Feb 21, 2018 - 1:00pm

The multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise of human trafficking impacts hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and more than 20 million people globally. The crime is often hidden in plain sight, and the best chance of making a difference comes from helping law enforcement identify purchasers and victims to curb the illicit demand. As a global transportation leader, UPS knows that the logistics industry is uniquely positioned to help stop human trafficking.

UPS has stepped up its efforts to put the brakes on human trafficking through stronger policies, employee awareness initiatives, and strategic philanthropic partnerships. The company has strengthened its Anti-Trafficking in Persons Policy and published it on the Compliance & Ethics website for global access. This policy, which strictly prohibits the use of any UPS assets or resources for any purpose that would enable the trafficking of persons, governs the UPS enterprise as a whole—its employees, suppliers, consultants, third-party representatives, and subcontractors.

UPS joined forces with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a Colorado-based nonprofit whose mission is to saturate trucking and related industries with educational materials and equip drivers on how to recognize the signs of sex trafficking—teaching them whom to call, what to do, and, importantly, what not to do. The announcement follows the completion of a pilot project between TAT and UPS Freight across 10 states in late 2016, which successfully trained 1,500 drivers on the proper response and available resources to combat human trafficking.

In April 2017, UPS expanded the TAT pilot project to all U.S. driving operations, including delivery providers and over the road semi-tractor trailer drivers. The awareness campaign is projected to reach more than 90,000 drivers and supervisors. UPS drivers deliver in every community and may have the opportunity to see something and say something that could save lives. UPS also supports TAT with quarterly in-kind transportation of TAT’s Freedom Drivers Project, which uses a semi-tractor trailer equipped with educational resources to serve as a mobile educational exhibit on human trafficking. The mobile museum has welcomed more than 20,000 people since debuting in August 2014.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign formally announced in 2017 a distinctive partnership to educate UPS pilots and airline crew who may also be in a position to help spot human trafficking signs in airports and while traveling on commercial flights. The Blue Campaign works in partnership with law enforcement and government entities, non-governmental organizations, and private companies to protect the basic right of freedom and bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

UPS leverages the power of corporate philanthropy to invest in organizations that are raising awareness and finding solutions to end this horrific epidemic. Among others, UPS supports the United Way Worldwide’s Center on Human Trafficking and Slavery and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to further anti-human trafficking education, recognition, and response efforts in local communities.  

The business community faces risks and challenges associated with human trafficking on a daily basis, and UPS is proud to harness the power of public-private partnerships to address this important issue in a meaningful way.

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