SAN FRANCISCO — Thursday is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and in honor of the day, which was created to promote the combat and prevention of human trafficking around the globe, ride-share company Uber announced it will begin training its drivers on how to spot and report human trafficking.
Uber has teamed up with ECPAT-USA to develop resources and tips for identifying human trafficking to teach drivers about using the human trafficking hotline and what to expect if they have to call it.
According to the International Labour Organization, nearly 25 million people are trapped in some form of human trafficking and one in four victims of modern slavery are children.
In April, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline saw a 40% increase in trafficking situations reported, according to Polaris, an anti-trafficking organization that operates the National Trafficking Hotline.
With a rise in reports of human trafficking, Uber felt it was in a unique position to help as drivers may have proximity and ability to interact with at-risk individuals.
“We want to reinforce our commitment to help raise awareness of this heinous crime and be a part of the solution by using our technology and expansive network to help mobilize communities and connect people to further resources,” said Matt Olsen, Uber’s Chief Trust and Security Officer. “Drivers and delivery people are in a unique position because they have the proximity and context to interact with at-risk individuals through the Uber platform. By providing them resources and education with the help of Polaris and ECPAT-USA, we want to encourage them to be vigilant while on the road.”
In addition to the tips provided to Uber drivers, the company has worked with Polarius to create a podcast to teach them about the trafficking hotline and what to expect if they have to reach out.
To read the tips for identifying human trafficking, click here.
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.