Human trafficking is a global epidemic that impacts the cities and communities where we live, the restaurants where we dine, and the streets where we drive. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labor globally.
Today, in honor of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Uber is reinforcing the commitment we’ve made to raise awareness around this heinous crime by developing new educational materials with guidance from ECPAT-USA, and sending them to all riders, drivers, and Uber Eats delivery-partners in the United States and Canada.
Victims can be spotted anywhere, including truck stops and gas stations along busy highways. So we are extending our reach in this space to help the public keep up with this evolving industry by adding Truckers Against Trafficking as a national partner. They are an invaluable leader in the fight against trafficking in the trucking and busing industries and we look forward to partnering with them as our expanding product offerings, such as Uber Freight, continue to grow.
Uber is also expanding its anti-human trafficking efforts across Latin America, the UK and Canada. In Canada we’re collaborating with The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (The Centre). The Centre launched the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline in May 2019 to assist victims and survivors by connecting them with local social service providers, emergency services, and law enforcement in communities across Canada.
In addition to arming our riders, driver-partners, and Eats delivery-partners with online educational resources, we are hosting live informational sessions for drivers in partnership with various anti-human trafficking organizations across the US. The sessions are taking place today at our local GreenLight Hubs in Austin, DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and will focus on empowering drivers with important information while encouraging them to be vigilant while on the road.
In 2016, Uber became the first and only company in the on-demand space to sign the The Code to help prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in the travel and tourism industry. Uber continued its commitment to disrupting human trafficking in 2018 with a pledge to educate Uber driver-partners on how to spot and report potential signs of human trafficking in partnership with ECPAT-USA, The McCain Institute, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Polaris, and Thorn.
Uber has a unique role to play because riders, driver-partners, and Eats delivery-partners are the eyes and ears on the road. We have the opportunity to be a part of the solution by utilizing our technology and expansive network to mobilize communities and help educate everyone who uses Uber on what to do when they suspect someone is in a potentially dangerous situation.
“Commercial vehicle drivers have proven time and again to be a disruptive force in combating the crime of human trafficking. TAT’s partnership with Uber will allow this powerful mobile army of transportation professionals to increase in numbers as Uber Freight carriers become educated and equipped to help the vulnerable and exploited.” – Kendis Paris, Executive Director, Truckers Against Trafficking
“Since 2015, Uber has been committed to working with ECPAT-USA to protect children and prevent exploitation,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “Using the scope and scale of their global community, Uber has been able to educate and empower thousands in how they can end trafficking. We are proud to partner with them on their latest initiative to fight exploitation.”
“Awareness of this crime is crucial to supporting victims and survivors,” said Barbara Gosse, CEO of The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking. “Uber drivers and their passengers can play a unique role in assisting potential victims and survivors of human trafficking. This collaboration demonstrates how companies, individuals, and communities can work together to prevent and end this crime.”
By spreading awareness through our partners, our app and in-person education sessions, we hope to disrupt the human trafficking industry and take a step towards building safer communities for everyone.
If someone is in immediate danger, alert emergency services by calling 911. Do not intervene directly. In the United States, report anything suspicious to the National Human Trafficking Hotline: (1-888-373-7888) or texting “Help” to 233733.