Throughout the month of January and in recognition of the importance of the topic, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and its partners are promoting awareness of prevention of human trafficking.
Annually, human trafficking generates over $100 billion globally – victims can be female and male, but are generally women between the ages of 15-25. A quarter of victims are children. According to Identify a Victim | Homeland Security (dhs.gov):
- One in 200 people worldwide are slavery victims
- Forced marriages account for over 15 million trafficking victims
- One in seven forced laborers are moved
- A quarter of trafficked people are underage
- Male victims form 10 percent of victims
- Over 40 million people are victims of trafficking
- Child sex trafficking accounted for half of the trafficking in 2018
In a combined effort to combat human trafficking, airports and airlines train their employees to spot people who may be in danger through a campaign called “The Blue Light Initiative” (BLI), which is a coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The organizations work together to update training to educate aviation employees on how to “recognize the indicators of human trafficking and how to appropriately report what they see. The training now includes specialized content for both large and small airport settings” (DHS).
Jason Sankey, PHL’s Airport Security Manager noted, “At PHL, we require all employees to complete a human trafficking prevention test to receive new and reissued SIDA (Security Identification Display Area) badges. Additionally, the airport has placed messaging throughout the terminals and at gates with instructions on what to do if someone suspects trafficking.”
January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Look for Blue Campaign to host special events and educational activities. The largest initiative is #WearBlueDay. Individuals and organizations are invited to take photos of themselves, friends, family, and colleagues wearing blue clothing and the #WearBlueDay hashtag. At PHL, look for the Ramp Tower to be lit in blue to bring awareness to the dangers of human trafficking.
Let’s all do our part to combat this worldwide issue.