Human Trafficking in Aviation Update
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, adults and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-
paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations. Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many victims may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
While human trafficking does not require transportation, some traffickers use air travel and other modes of public transportation to move their victims. It is important that the general public and aviation staff be aware of human trafficking indicators and how to safely report those to proper authorities.
Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) is an element of the DHS Blue Campaign, led by U.S. Department of Transportation DOT and DHS Component Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The BLI trains aviation personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims, and to report their suspicions to federal law enforcement. This presentation will address the
- Human Trafficking 101
- Impact and importance of the aviation industry in the fight against human trafficking
- Reporting protocol
- New training and resources available to the industry