Putting the Brakes on Human Trafficking

Globally, human trafficking affects millions of people each year as they are illegally lured into forced labor and sexual exploitation through force, fraud, or coercion. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime, generating billions of dollars per year in illicit profit. All victims of trafficking share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.

On October 27, 2023, Bright Tomorrows was privileged to offer a free breakfast seminar at Asbury Church in Tulsa entitled “Putting the Brakes on Human Trafficking” presented by Esther Goetsch, the executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking Truckers. In response to this trafficking horror, Truckers Against Trafficking Truckers (TAT), a 501(c)3 organization, is raising up a mobile army of transportation professionals helping to discover and disrupt human trafficking networks across North America. Esther, a polished presenter as well as a passionate voice for justice, shared about the realities of human trafficking here in the US, some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the crime, how members of the trucking, bus, and energy industries are effectively combatting and it together with ways pastors and community leaders can join in the fight.

ESTHER GOETSCH came to Truckers Against Trafficking Truckers with a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Wheaton College, where she conducted award-winning research on HIV-AIDS prevention in Ethiopia. At Wheaton, she also earned a certificate in human needs and global resources. After joining TAT in 2016, she served in various positions, most recently as director of strategic partnerships, prior to assuming her present position earlier this year. In addition to expanding TAT’s Coalition Build program and leading TAT’s expansion into Canada, Esther has represented TAT at the United States Congress, before the Texas and Oklahoma Legislatures, at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and is currently serving as the vice chair of the newly reconvened USDOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking (ACHT).