Montreal : The eyes open against human trafficking campaign led by International Air Transport Association (IATA), is making major contributions to the momentum among airlines towards the implementation of training for cabin crew to prevent human trafficking.
Aviation is the business of freedom. Airlines connect businesses to markets, reunite families and friends, and facilitate tourism and cultural exchange. Unfortuna-tely, the global air transport system can also be exploited by criminals for the illegal trafficking of men, women and children.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world. A report by the International Labour Organi-sation estimates that 24.9 million people are trafficked globally every year, over 75 per cent of whom are women and children. That's equivalent to the total population of Australia.
Although the responsibility for identifying, apprehending and prosecuting those perpetrating human trafficking rests with governments and national law enforcement agencies, the airline industry recognises that it can play an important role in helping to prevent this crime.
"Recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation," according to Palermo Protocol 2000.
Once trained, airline, airport, ground handling, security screening and customs staff could provide an important source of intelligence to prevent human trafficking. They can recognise signs of potential trafficking situations and report their observations to the authorities both at airports and during flights to draw up guidelines and best practice examples for airlines to address human trafficking in persons within their organisation.