See How Flight Attendants Are Helping Stop Human Trafficking for the Super Bowl
NBC News had a really interesting piece about how flight attendants are serving as ambassadors and being trained to keep their eyes open for signs of human trafficking. Particularly, this is important this weekend because the Super Bowl tends to be a time where there are a great of people trafficked for prostitution.
According to NBC,
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year. Since 2009 Airline Ambassadors has been working to make sure that when a trafficker flies with a victim, the flight crew is trained to spot and report them.
Last week Rivard and several of her colleagues flew to Houston to meet with approximately 100 flight attendants who volunteered for the Airline Ambassadors training session on how to recognize human trafficking.
Over two days, former victims related their experiences to the flight attendants. In-flight crews were taught to look for passengers who appear frightened, ashamed or nervous; people traveling with someone who doesn’t appear to be a parent or relative; and children or adults who appear bruised or battered.
They’re also taught to notice if someone insists on speaking for the alleged victim, doesn’t let them out of their sight or becomes defensive when questioned. Victims sometimes appear drugged.
The current governor of Texas (where the Super Bowl is being held this here – Houston), Greg Abbott, said while he was attorney general, “The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly. It’s commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.”
Flight attendants really do have a tremendous opportunity to pickup on issues that may arise from someone being transported for the purpose of human trafficking. They are a great tool in the fight against human trafficking, as spending hours on a plane, they have a unique opportunity to see how someone behaves. This is truly an incredible program because it goes a long way to make flight attendants aware of the signs so they can alert authorities if there seems to be something amiss on one of their flights. The important thing is that the skills these flight attendants are learning can be used year round. If one life can be saved from the devastation of modern-day slavery, it is worth it!
If you know someone or suspect that someone may be a victim of human trafficking, contact local law enforcement. If you are a victim of human trafficking or are seeking help for someone who is a victim of human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.