AMERICAN TELEVISION JOURNALIST CHRIS HANSEN JOINS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS TRAINING AT DFW AIRPORT
July 20, 2015 (FORT WORTH, TEXAS) - The non-profit organization Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) will present a 90-minute training on Human Trafficking Awareness for front line airline personnel at DFW International Airport on Monday, July 20, 2015. U.S. airports are major hubs of entry and exit for perpetrators and victims of human trafficking. After correctly identifying trafficking incidents on four airlines in 2009, AAI has conducted 30 such trainings for airport personnel in the United States and Europe. Participants will learn how to recognize and report potential human trafficking in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security’s “Blue Lightning Protocol.”
American television journalist Chris Hansen, known for his “Dateline” investigative journalism of exploited children in Thailand and host of NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” will participate as a trainer at the event which will include comments from local anti-trafficking group Traffick 911, DFW law enforcement and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) which represents the 25,000 flight attendants of American Airlines.
Additionally, the training will be presented by three current or former AA flight attendants; the founder of AAI, Nancy Rivard, survivor, Donna Hubbard, (who was trafficked for 7 years) and Kim Hart (whose mother was trafficked). Their true stories will help the issue come alive for airport employees.
The U.S. signed the Palermo Protocol in 2000, agreeing to help stop trafficking on commercial flights. In 2015, however, only four airlines in the United States have adopted a policy to train employees. American Airlines, headquartered in DFW, has not yet adopted a corporate policy on combatting human trafficking. AA covers the subject briefly on the company website, but the topic is not mentioned during annual flight crew emergency procedure training.
The U.S. Department of State has determined that transportation professionals are among the best placed to identify trafficking situations. AAI’s training raises awareness by teaching warning signals and approved methods of how to handle suspected trafficking situations without putting employees or victims at risk. In the face of the recent change in the State Department’s Trafficking in Person’s report, upgrading Malaysia to Tier 2, Airline Ambassadors also offers a “Recognize it Report It” training to Malaysian flight crews.
“Flight crew are “boots in the air” in a unique position to recognize and report potential trafficking incidents to law enforcement agencies to rescue victims and bring traffickers to justice.” Nancy Rivard, President (AAI)
APFA President Laura Glading said, "Flight attendants have thwarted these criminals in the past, but putting an end to human trafficking will require a coordinated and sustained effort as well the commitment of the entire transportation industry."
About Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) (www.airlineamb.org) provides for orphans and vulnerable children worldwide. AAI volunteer’s escort children for needed medical care, hand-deliver humanitarian aid to orphanages, and educate on the issue of human trafficking awareness in the airline industry.