Up to 27 million people globally are victims of human trafficking, a form of modern slavery that often involves migration of legal workers within a country and across borders.
Today, July 30, is recognized by the United Nations as World Day against Trafficking in Persons as part of an ongoing global campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
Delta has been at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking. In 2011, the airline became the first and only U.S. carrier to sign a Code of Conduct outlined by End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking, which includes a network of organizations working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Delta was one of the 12 founding companies of the Global Business Coalition against Human Trafficking in 2012.
“As one of the largest transportation companies in the world, Delta takes seriously the responsibility to raise awareness and educate employees about this human rights violation,” said Delta President Ed Bastian. “We are committed to combating human trafficking, including training our employees and giving them the resources needed to identify and report all potential cases of human trafficking – our responsibilities extend beyond running a safe operation.”
In 2013, Delta adopted the Human Rights Abuses policy which states zero tolerance for participating in and engaging in activities that enable or further human trafficking. As part of the policy, Delta requires all employees to report actions that indicate a passenger or employee is engaged in human trafficking. Additionally, Delta requires that its business partners not participate in human trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
As part of its commitment, Delta provides training for its employees and takes steps to raise awareness about the increasing prevalence of human trafficking.
Delta implemented the Blue Lightning training program in September 2013 to equip frontline employees with the knowledge and resources needed to identify and report potential cases of human trafficking. The Blue Lightning initiative is a computer-based training program that provides airlines with added tools to help identify and report suspected instances of human trafficking. To date, more than 68,000 Delta employees have taken the training.
Employees will also have the opportunity to experience firsthand training with Out of Darkness, an anti-trafficking ministry of the Atlanta Dream Center later this year. The training is part of Delta’s efforts to educate employees on human trafficking and is designed for people who want to actively help and assist victims.
Delta strongly condemns all forms of human rights abuses, including human trafficking. The airline’s core values along with the responsibility that comes with its global reach have led Delta to be at the forefront among airlines in the fight against human trafficking. Delta is committed to doing what is right for its employees, as well as its customers and the communities it serves.