Human trafficking is an international, national, and local crime that impacts people in many communities and industries. According to the International Labour Organization, nearly 25 million people around the world are estimated to be trapped in some form of human trafficking. And society’s most marginalized are uniquely vulnerable. 

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, the resulting economic instability and social disruption has caused many people to become more vulnerable to the violence, coercion, and deceptive tactics of traffickers seeking to exploit them.

Today, to commemorate January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we are once again proud to team up with leading anti-trafficking advocacy organizations to help Uber users understand the complexities of this often misunderstood and heinous crime. 

To do this, we are sharing a first of its kind joint educational video, developed by Polaris to all drivers and delivery people in the US. The video focuses on educating users on how and why trafficking presents itself, the myths and misconceptions of the crime, and how to reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (operated by Polaris) if they need help or see something alarming. While we’ve hosted numerous educational sessions for drivers in targeted communities since 2018, this will be the first time Uber has been able to share in-depth education developed by experts in this space to all users across the country. 

[Video en español]

We recognize that combating trafficking requires effort across all sectors, including government and law enforcement, which is why we have partnered with 9 Attorneys General to introduce the Polaris educational video to the Uber drivers and couriers in their respective states.

Additionally, we have sent tips for identifying human trafficking, developed by our partners, ECPAT-USA to all Uber users in the US to reference.

Traffickers use all forms of tactics to exploit victims, including taking them to wherever they think they can make money, which can often include truck stops or other venues that intersect with the trucking industry. This is why we have teamed up with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to send Uber Freight carriers and shippers trucking-specific resources and TAT’s training to help them become TAT-certified as they continue to help as the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways. 

“We’re proud to partner with Uber to ensure this critical information is available to drivers and delivery people. When these communities are armed with the truth about what human trafficking is and how it happens, it’s that much harder for trafficking to fly under the radar.” – Elaine McCartin, Associate Director of Corporate Partnerships

“We’re thankful to see corporate partners like Uber recommit to ending exploitation during Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Through engaging with both Uber’s drivers and passengers as well as couriers, we can better protect children through education and prevention.” – Yvonne Chen, Director of Private Sector Engagement

“Imagine if every Uber rideshare and Freight driver were trained, knew what to look for, and knew to call the hotline immediately. How many more victims could take a path to freedom and how many more traffickers and buyers would be arrested?! That is why taking 30 minutes to educate yourselves and others is critical and why TAT is thrilled that Uber is sharing this training with those who can play a critical role in facilitating liberation and thriving for all.” – Helen Hofer, Freedom Drivers Project Director at Truckers Against Trafficking

Since January 2018, we have reinforced our commitment year over year with in-person educational sessions for drivers, distribution of our joint podcast with Polaris, available in both English and Spanish, and continuing to provide access to resources for Uber users in the communities we serve. Through the power of education, we hope to help disrupt human trafficking, support survivors, and take steps towards building safer communities for everyone. 

If you believe you’ve witnessed something that might be human trafficking, or if you or someone you know might need help for an at-risk situation, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “Help” to 233733

Learn more about Uber’s efforts to help combat human trafficking.