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Delta Air Lines was recently honored by the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY) with the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award for its efforts to fight human trafficking at the annual United Nations Day gala at the JW Marriott in New York City.

The UNA-NY's annual gala aims to acknowledge corporations and individuals for their contribution to, and in support of, the principles and efforts of the United Nations – with this year's theme focusing on human trafficking. The event gathered attendees together to raise awareness of the problem, recognize those who champion progress on the issue and celebrate their contributions to-date. In addition to Delta Air Lines, the UNA-NY honored Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino and New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. 

Allison Ausband, Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service, accepted the Humanitarian of the Year Award on behalf of Delta Air Lines as the executive sponsor of the airline's anti-trafficking movement.

"Making progress in the fight to end human trafficking insists that businesses, like Delta, #GetOnBoard. With approximately 71 percent of human trafficking victims reporting traveling on airplanes during their recruitment phase, we are perfectly positioned to respond," said Ausband.

"Beyond prevention, detection and reporting, we can play a part in rewriting stories of hope and freedom for survivors. It is an honor to celebrate the growth we've accomplished since first getting involved in 2011. And with continued commitment to ending modern slavery, there is more we will do to keep climbing in our fight."

​Below are some of the reasons Delta's industry-leading campaign was commended:

  • Training over 66,000 employees to learn the signs to identify and report human trafficking. 

  • Offering apprenticeships for survivors to offer employment, support professional development and provide career re-entry skills at its corporate headquarters.

  • Funding anti-trafficking organizations and experts, like Polaris, to fight the crime from the frontlines. Delta has contributed $2.5M toward the National Human Trafficking Hotline since 2017, and has since seen a 36 percent increase in contacts from survivors since its initial contribution.

  • Donating over 6M miles through SkyWish in partnership with our customers, providing over 100 flights for trafficking survivors to return to safety or receive critical services.

  • Successfully lobbying for anti-trafficking legislation, seeing bills that Delta supports pass on state and federal levels.

  • Providing volunteer opportunities in 16 Delta cities for employees to give time and service to anti-trafficking organizations in their local communities. 

"The fight against human trafficking can only be won if people are aware of the scope and scale of the problem," said Abid Qureshi, President of UNA-NY. "The UNA-NY is honored to present both Academy Award winning actress and United Nations Goodwill ambassador Mira Sorvino and Delta Air Lines with the Humanitarian of the Year Awards."

On Thursday, the UNA-NY also announced a critical partnership with Freedom United, one of Delta's anti-trafficking partners and the world's largest anti-slavery community, to encourage more governments to ratify a comprehensive international standard on forced labor.

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