(Photo courtesy of Uber/Susan Hendrick)
Uber is seeking to raise awareness in the fight against human trafficking.
One sign came in Baltimore this week, when Uber drivers took part in a training at the company’s Greenlight Hub in Fells Point.
Led by the nonprofit Polaris Project, the training offered information on signs of human trafficking, and steps they can take to report it.
With more than 650 cases of sex trafficking reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from Maryland between December 2007 and June 2018, Uber said it has “an important role to play to leverage the thousands of eyes and ears we have on the road.”
“Uber is committed to safety in the communities we serve and we want to do our part to help put an end to the transportation of trafficked adults and children,” said Susan Hendrick, external affairs lead for Uber Maryland, in a statement. “By partnering with organizations like Polaris, we are taking steps to promote awareness by educating everyone who signs up to drive about this important issue.”
The company held trainings in multiple cities this week. It’s making a broad effort to address what the organizations say is a global epidemic, with 24.9 million people in forced labor around the world, per the International Labour Organization. The company also has new educational materials that are available to drivers.
Warning signs include:
- Hearing someone coaching a child on how to lie
- Requesting to be dropped off at a hidden entrance
- Evidence of a person exerting control over a potential victim
Polaris Project operates a hotline at “BeFree,” or anyone with information can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “Help” to 233733.
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