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January 30, 2018 3:15 PM, EST

FedEx Freight Enlists Industry Effort to Train Drivers to Combat Human Trafficking

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FedEx Freight is joining forces with Truckers Against Trafficking to train drivers to help fight human trafficking.

The Memphis-based company, which employs more than 40,000 and operates 20,000 vehicles, has become a platinum-level sponsor of the nonprofit’s work to enlist the trucking and truck plaza industries to combat human trafficking.

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.

Truckers Against Trafficking trains industry employees to recognize and respond to various forms of human trafficking, which can include forced labor, domestic servitude and commercial sex trafficking.

FedEx Freight said its education program coincides with National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January.

RELATED: State motor carrier officers team up to fight human trafficking

“As a company with team members out on our nation’s highways every day, FedEx is proud to support Truckers Against Trafficking in its quest to call attention to, and fight, this serious crime that is impacting lives across the U.S.,” FedEx Freight president and CEO Mike Ducker said in a news release.

“By educating our team members on what to watch for and empowering them to take a stand, we are committed to making a difference on this issue and look forward to working with Truckers Against Trafficking,” Ducker said.

Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking, said, “The American trucking industry has proven time and again that they are working alongside law enforcement to disrupt trafficking networks and aid in the recovery of victims.

“The partnership between TAT and FedEx will significantly increase the trained ‘eyes and ears’ along our nations roadways, and we are thrilled to be working with such an industry leader,” Paris said.

FedEx Freight provides less-than-truckload service in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The FBI investigates human trafficking cases under its Civil Rights program and its Violent Crimes Against Children program. The agency says the majority of victims in its cases are U.S. citizens who are bought, sold and smuggled and forced to work as prostitutes or as migrant, domestic, restaurant or factory workers with little or no pay.

The FBI field office in Memphis is one of 12 that take part in an anti-trafficking coordination team with other agencies, such as Justice, Labor and Homeland Security departments, according to an FBI fact sheet.

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