Despite having occurred nearly 6 years ago, news that Alaska Airlines flight attendant Sheila Frederick saved a teenage trafficking victim by leaving her a note in the bathroom was only brought to the public's attention very recently. And unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident.
The International Labor Organization estimates that 21 million people are trapped in some form of forced labor, with human trafficking and child sexual exploitation victims accounting for a large proportion of that figure. American Airlines have started working with a non-profit called ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) to train its 120,000 employees and to provide travelers with information on human trafficking. Warning signs include: if a person of interest isn't in control of their own documentation or money, if the individual is being kept away from security, or if they are not allowed to speak for themselves. Any of these could trigger a response.
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The problem is made worse by the fact that hotels are able to remain anonymous, so offenders can move victims from one place to another more easily. The hope is that American Airline's initiative will encourage others in the industry, including hotels, to get involved in the issue, having already sparked other airlines, including Delta and Volaris to also make agreements with ECPAT-USA. To find out more, visit the American Airlines website.