Human trafficking is a horrible crime that often goes unnoticed, especially when it comes to the travel and tourism industry. In recent years, this sector has been associated with increased incidences and reports of human trafficking, so what can be done to help? This article explores how the airline industry, in particular, plays a vital role in fighting human trafficking. We’ll cover key facts about human trafficking, what airlines can do to fight against this injustice, and the common trends in modern human trafficking.
Given their excellent infrastructure and global reach, airlines can play a key role in detecting and reporting human trafficking. By training crew members and other employees to recognize signs of human trafficking, airlines can increase their capacity to spot this crime. Some signs to watch out for include:
- An individual is acting as if they’re being instructed by another
- They are not in possession of their own legal documents
- They appear frightened, withdrawn, or confused
- They have inconsistent stories that look scripted
Moreover, airlines can also play a role in preventing human trafficking by taking steps to educate their passengers through flyers, in-flight announcements, and in-flight entertainment.
Fly Children Safe Program
Another way that airlines can help fight human trafficking is by partnering with the Fly Children Safe program. This program utilizes child-sized mannequins to teach airline staff and passengers how to spot signs of child trafficking during flights. Fly Children Safe recently worked with Delta Airlines to create a training program for their employees.
The organization has also partnered with airlines like Virgin Atlantic to create a program called “Safe Skies.” This program uses posters and spotters’ cards to warn passengers about child trafficking. Fly Children Safe hopes to expand its mannequin program to include more airlines in an attempt to combat the incidences of human trafficking.
Ensure Airline Employees are Trained to Spot Signs of Human Trafficking
This training typically includes educating employees on the warning signs of human trafficking. Many training programs also engage employees in simulated scenarios where they must decide on whether or not to call the authorities to investigate the situation. Airline employees and ground staff are in a unique position to spot human trafficking since they have regular, often daily, interactions with passengers, so it’s important they know what to do if they suspect foul play.
Look Out for Travelers with Contradicting Information
It’s important that airline workers know what to look out for when interacting with customers. This includes contradicting information from passengers, such as being unsure of their final destination, their reason for travel, or who they will be meeting once they arrive. Airlines must make sure travelers have a valid U.S. or foreign government-issued photo ID, have valid documentation for the purpose of their travel (such as a visa or driver’s license), and have all the required documentation for anyone they’re traveling with (such as children). Airlines have the right to refuse passage to anyone they believe may be a danger to themselves or others on board.
Fighting human trafficking requires effort from all kinds of organizations, including airlines. Airlines can play an important role in detecting and reporting cases of human trafficking. They can also help prevent human trafficking by educating passengers and partnering with organizations that fight human trafficking. The airline industry can make a real difference in the fight against human trafficking by taking the necessary steps to help their passengers and crew members.