Did you know that human trafficking can be spotted on commercial airlines? Since it has a tendency to occur more than usual during major events, flight attendants went through a training in Houston, TX during Super Bowl weekend.
Nancy Rivard, founder of Airline Ambassadors, conducted the training including spotting signs: passengers who appear to be drugged, in distress or injured. Another suspicious behavior regarding human trafficking on the plane is when someone is speaking on behalf of their travel companion and is defensive when being spoken to.
One more red flag is when someone is dressed much less informal than his/her travel companion and doesn’t know his/her flight information. When being spoke to, this person looks at the travel companion instead.
According to NBC, Alaska Airlines flight attendant Sheila Fedrick identified a victim who looked about 14-15 years old while traveling with an older well-dressed man. She:
…looked like she had been through pure hell… I left a note in one of the bathrooms. She wrote back on the note and said ‘I need help.’
Once a trafficker is spotted, flight attendants are trained not to intervene but discuss with the pilot instead.
#Repost @free_the_captives_houston So thankful for these beautiful ladies with @AirlineAmbassadors for training airline personnel on how to identify and report trafficking! #airline #airport #travel #flightattendant #airlines #cabincrew #crewlife #fly #flying #aircraft #instaplane #awareness #support #education #awaken #prevention #airlineambassadors #endit #fighthumantrafficking #stophumantrafficking #endhumantrafficking #freethecaptiveshouston #freethecaptives
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 400 victims were discovered and 2,000 traffickers were arrested.
Hotels, and tourism companies have signed The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, which is the travel industry’s vow to train employees to spot signs for human trafficking. Airline Ambassadors is supporting a legislation that would allow every U.S. airline staff to be trained for the sake of rescuing more victims.
If you ever spot a suspicious traveler on a plane, be sure to report him/her to a flight attendant. Without training, sometimes our human intuition can also speak volumes.
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