Today is Jan. 11, a day designated by the U.S. Senate as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Delta Air Lines continues to lead the charge in the aviation industry to end this crime that exploits and often enslaves women, children and men for forced labor and sex.
With about 2.5 million victims affected at any given moment and tens of millions of known victims, human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.“As a global airline, we are a leader in this fight, but this important work cannot continue without all of our support,” explained Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President - In-Flight Service. “Today and every day I encourage you, the Delta family, to #GetOnBoard. You can help play a role in our anti-trafficking efforts.”
Delta employees around the world are already championing this important cause. In fact, approximately 30,000 Delta people have taken the Blue Lightning training, enabling them to remain alert to possible trafficking situations in airports and on flights, as well as in the places where they travel and the communities where they live.
As executive sponsor leading the company's efforts against human trafficking along with senior leaders from Airport Customer Service, Tech Ops, Legal and Human Resources, Ausband was pleased to share that Delta is extending the opportunity to #GetOnBoard to customers, “In the coming months we will launch a mileage donation program through SkyWish, allowing our extended Delta family to join us in the fight against human trafficking and donate miles to return victims to their families.”
“If we work together, Delta, our employees and our customers can continue to make a serious and lasting impact,” Ausband said.
Delta’s commitment to ending human trafficking
Last year, Delta launched a cross-divisional human trafficking advisory council and began an extensive review of that airline’s capabilities to play a larger role in the fight against human trafficking both here in the U.S. and around the globe. What they learned, Ausband explains, was heartbreaking.
“Human trafficking is happening where we live and where we fly,” Ausband said, “We have been vocal in the airline industry about this issue -- most recently as we worked to gain support from our Delta employees who live in the state of Georgia to support the Safe Harbor Amendment, which passed in November 2016 and helps child trafficking victims -- and we continue to help raise awareness among the broader corporate community. And we are determined to continue to raise the bar on this issue and fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, that’s why we want everyone to #GetOnBoard.”
Here’s a look at the airline’s action over the years:
- 2011 – Delta became the first and only airline to sign a Code of Conduct outlined by End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking.
- 2012 – Delta was one of the 12 founding companies of the Global Business Coalition against Human Trafficking.
- 2013 – Delta adopted the Human Rights Abuses policy which states zero tolerance for participating and engaging in activities that enable or further human trafficking.
- 2013 – Delta implemented the Blue Lightning computer-based training program to help frontline employees identify and report potential cases of human trafficking.
- 2014 – Delta calls for its business partners to not participate in human trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of children as part of the supplier code of conduct.
- 2015 – Delta offered training with Out of Darkness, an anti-trafficking ministry of the Atlanta Dream Center, to engage employees who want to actively help and assist human trafficking victims.
- 2016 – Delta launches cross-divisional human trafficking advisory council and develops plan to expand its support of human trafficking prevention.