Human trafficking is not something I’ve ever thought I needed to be on the lookout for while traveling, but after seeing multiple interviews lately, I’m going to start keeping my eyes open—including on domestic flights.
I’m also going to be paying close attention to the work of Airline Ambassadors. This wonderful volunteer group of flight attendants is really making a difference in the fight against this heinous activity. According to NBC News, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year.” Well, 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. And they’ve created a webpage and apps (Google Play & iTunes) that enable the public to share vital information that can save lives.
Here’s what to look for and how to report human trafficking, from Airline Ambassadors:
Know the indicators:
- Indicator 1: The person has no control of his or her travel and identification documents.
- Indicator 2: The person has no freedom of movement or social interaction.
- Indicator 3: The person has no logical means of reaching, or lacks knowledge of, his or her final destination.
- Indicator 4: A child traveler does not seem to be accompanied by his or her parent or legitimate guardian.
- Do not confront the suspected trafficker or suspected victim.
- Do not draw unnecessary attention to the suspected trafficker or suspected victim that may alert them to your suspicions.
Do report your observations. In addition to submitting video alerts, call the DHS tip line, you will be asked:
- Airline, flight number, and seat number;
- If the individual is currently in-flight;
- Arrival city and estimated time of arrival;
- Identities (names, citizenship, etc.) of suspected victims and/or suspected traffickers
- Physical descriptions of the suspected victims and traffickers; and indicator(s) you saw or heard.
- Call 866-347-2423 toll free in U.S. and Canada, 24 hour a day
- Call 802-872-6199 (tolls apply) in any country in the world, 24 hours
- They also suggest you call: National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 and or 911
Another service to report an incident you are witnessing lets you take a picture of the person you suspect is in danger and text it to 909-ALERT-US (909-253-7887) where Bashpole will search for the person in their database and alert authorities. You can read more about this service here.
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