The Blue Campaign – End Human Trafficking
March 18, 2022
The Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign designed to educate the public, law enforcement and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases. The Blue Campaign works closely with the airline industry to develop general awareness trainings, as well as specific educational resources to help reduce victimization within vulnerable populations.
In 2010, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano launched the Blue Campaign – a first-of-its-kind initiative to coordinate and enhance the Department’s anti-human trafficking efforts.
One such program is the ‘Blue Lightning Initiative’ which is coordinated as part of the Blue Campaign by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in collaboration with the Department of Transportation. The key to the success of this initiative, however, is the participation of the frontline workers in the airline industry.
As Flight Attendants, we are uniquely positioned to identify human traffickers and assist their victims. Flight crews are skilled observers, and with appropriate training, they can be the frontline against trafficking, according to CBP. Indicators of human trafficking can include:
- Physical control of travel documents of an adult traveler by a co-traveler.
- Restricting the movement and social interaction of an adult traveler by a co-traveler.
- An adult traveler who is unclear on details of his/her final destination or point of contact.
- Or a child traveler who appears to be accompanied by someone claiming to be the parent or guardian who is in fact not related to the child.
Blue Lightning will roll out a new training program in 2022 tailored for Flight Attendants, which will be available through AFA and participating airlines. The updated training educates 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. To learn more, visit the BLI website.
Also, the Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) invites you to join a virtual panel discussion on Mar. 23, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST. Here, program partners and lived-experience experts will share the importance of recognizing human trafficking and conducting response training in the aviation sector. With the appropriate training, Flight Attendants can become a ‘force multiplier’ in the fight against trafficking.
To learn more about Human Trafficking, go to www.dhs.gov/humantrafficking for more information.
To Report Human Trafficking*:
If you suspect a case of human trafficking, before communicating with either of these options, please identify yourself as a “Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) reporter:
• Call toll-free (866) 347-2423 from anywhere in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
• Call (802) 872-6199 (not toll-free) from any country in the world.
• Report the tip online at www.ice.gov/tips.
• Follow your airline’s reporting policy and procedure, including using cockpit communications or other methods as part of the Blue Lightning Initiative.