Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day designated by the U.S. Senate. Delta Air Lines continues to lead the aviation and travel industry in building action and awareness about a crime that often enslaves women, children and men for forced labor and sex.
With an estimated 40 million victims affected globally, human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.
"This cause cuts close to the heart of our company, as victims may be transported through air travel systems every day," said Allison Ausband, Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service. "At Delta, we are combatting trafficking on our planes, in the cities we call home and in destinations around the globe as more of our employees and customer become actively engaged in the fight."
Delta's work in the anti-trafficking space has helped other large corporations find their voice in the fight against human exploitation. The airline is fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, including, roughly, hundreds of thousands of victims in the United States, one in four being children. Since becoming the first airline to sign the Code of Conduct outlined by End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in 2011, Delta has proactively taken measures to eradicate trafficking. The airline's current strategy combines support of legislation, employee training, local volunteering, engaging customers and strategic partnerships to end trafficking.
Delta's approach to end modern-day slavery starts at the C-suite and makes its way through every division of the company. Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian has called on the airline's employees and customers to #GetOnBoard, as he supports the movement from a personal perspective.
"This is not a comfortable or easy topic, and it's one that many companies would rather not address. But at Delta we pride ourselves on being different, and recognize that our moral guidebook, the Rules of the Road, obligates us to speak," said Bastian. "For us, combating human trafficking is more than just a cause, it is a [moral] obligation as citizens of the world."
The annual day of awareness is a time for Delta to rally customers and employees in the fight. The airline is hosting over 1,000 employees for a presentation with partner Polaris Project on Jan. 18 to reenergize the movement. More information on the airline's 2018 anti-trafficking plans will be shared on Delta News Hub.
Here's a review of Delta's commitment to end human trafficking:
- 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 called 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 launched cross-divisional human trafficking advisory council, developed plan to expand its support of human trafficking prevention and trained 30,000 employees to detect human trafficking.
- 2017 – Delta trained over 56,000 employees to be identifiers and reporters of trafficking, and called for customers to #GetOnBoard by donating miles to bring victims to safety. The company leveraged partnerships in the anti-trafficking space with leaders like Polaris, and gave a $1 million donation in support of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.