SAN FRANCISCO, California – Ride sharing company Uber is now calling on its drivers to help stop human trafficking.
On Monday, a spokesperson confirmed the company had launched a new initiative to train drivers on how to “spot the signs” of human trafficking.
“This is an opportunity where we can really use our global scale to empower prevention. And to provide our drivers and riders with information that can help combat this,” safety communications official Tracey Breeden said.
According to Breeden, once drivers log in to their account, they will be presented with information on how to spot potential victims. Drivers will also be presented with resources that can help connect them with authorities and anti-trafficking support groups.
Some of those tips include looking out for riders who request to be taken to a hotel or multiple hotels for short periods of time, or who are accompanied by another person who seems to be controlling them.
“This happens every day in America, in every city, and every community. And so, it’s really important that this information get out to the public,” Breeden said.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there have been more than 12,000 reported cases of human trafficking since 2016. The state of Indiana saw more than 130 cases during that same time.
Hugh Hanlin, a psychologist with anti-trafficking support group Ascent 121 says ride sharing companies can often be targets for trafficking organizations because of the ability to control drop-offs and pickups.
He added that having thousands of extra “watchful eyes” could help save many sex trafficking victims
“Any set of eyes, and anytime the community is working together to get them identified, is really helpful to law enforcement which then also allows us to work with the victims so that they can regain their lives,” he said.
For more information on the Uber initiative, click here.