A flight attendant notices a teenage girl uncomfortable with the older man she’s traveling with and leaves her a note in a bathroom. The teen writes back: “I need help.” A teenage boy from New Zealand on a one-way ticket to visit a sex offender is intercepted by a careful Los Angeles customs agent.
These are two stark examples of how airlines, airports and the Department of Homeland Security are stepping up efforts to thwart human trafficking: transporting people for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Travelers will see a lot more warnings, and be encouraged to learn how to spot the crimes they may be sitting next to on flights.
Calls for Help
The National Human Trafficking Hotline says substantive calls and reported cases of human trafficking will increase 10% to 20% this year.