The latest effort to stamp out human trafficking may be coming to an airport near you.
A21, the non-profit brainchild of Christian evangelist Christine Caine, is working to raise public awareness of the global epidemic by targeting the areas frequented by criminals.
“Human trafficking often involves travel – both internationally and domestically – and utilizes all forms of travel from cars to taxis to rideshare services to buses to airports,” A21 Global Prevention and Education Director Kristen Morse told CBN News.
So that’s exactly where the A21 team is headed.
In a joint effort with the Department of Transportation, advertisements from their “Can You See Me?” campaign is prominently displayed on signage in some of the world’s biggest airports and transportation terminals.
To date, this campaign has been featured in JFK, Newark, LaGuardia, Dulles, Dallas, and Chicago O’Hare airports, as well as all the Amtrak stations throughout the nation.
“It is also used in hotels, shopping malls, and other hospitality and tourism venues,” stated Morse.
She says the PSA portion of the campaign has launched in the UK and Thailand as well.
The signage includes a phone number where victims and the general public can report suspected activity.
“If a person knows what to look for, then they can report suspicious activity, which can lead to identification of people who are being trafficked from one place to another,” said Morse.
So what are the signs?
– The individual is controlled by another person
– Signs of physical abuse
– Lack of earnings/earnings withheld
– The individual is overly fearful, depressed or submissive behavior
– Individual shows signs of dependence on their abuser
– Lack of official identification
But A21’s efforts don’t stop there.
On Oct. 20, tens of thousands of people from around the globe will take to the streets to raise awareness about the epidemic.
The 5th Annual Walk for Freedom will feature men and women in 50 countries bringing attention to the reality of human trafficking.
“We are convinced that if we do this together, if we keep showing up, if we continue to be tenacious, if we continue to turn up with strength, numbers, and courage, then we can see slavery eradicated in our lifetime,” said Caine.
And awareness is important, so much so that major airlines are also training flight attendants to spot and stop human trafficking.
Alaska Airline employee Shelia Fredrick was dubbed a hero after stopping a human trafficking occurrence on her flight.
Frederick said she noticed the disheveled teenage girl sitting next to a well-dressed older man.
Frederick told NBC News, “The bruises I saw on her, her demeanor, her appearance” was alarming.
But that wasn’t the only thing.
“The way she would not answer me, the way she would always look at him. I knew something was just not right,” she continued.
Frederick left a note in the restroom urging the young lady to alert her if she needed help.
The girl wrote, “I need help,” Frederick recalled.
The trafficker was greeted at the terminal by police.
Human trafficking is big business, at home and abroad. Although often associated with sex trafficking, human trafficking can also include forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude and child soldiers.