WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking the culmination of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) reaffirmed its commitment to work toward ending human trafficking. Since 1942, February 1 has been commemorated as National Freedom Day, the day when President Lincoln signed the 13th amendment to end slavery.
“As the first responders of aviation, Flight Attendants are in a key position to join the fight against human trafficking. With appropriate training, we can help save the lives of innocent people, facilitate their rescue and help bring perpetrators to justice,” said AFA International President Veda Shook. “Today, there are still many victims of modern slavery – they are women and children, men and adults. They are all being denied basic human rights and we must work together to ensure that we put an end to this form of slavery.”
It is estimated that at least 12.3 million adults and children are enslaved around the world and that 56 percent are women and girls. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that in 2005, 980,000 to 1,225,000 boys and girls were in forced labor situations as a result of trafficking.
“It is important that on this day when freedom for all Americans is honored, we recommit to the fight to end the serious and heinous civil rights violation that is human trafficking. With the evolution of our industry comes an evolution in our professional responsibilities and it is necessary that Flight Attendants receive the proper training to identify possible victims and facilitate their rescue,” added Shook.
AFA is among the network of partners working together with the DOT and the DHS to educate frontline transportation workers about the critical role we can play to help stop human trafficking.