In August 2009, an Airline Ambassador humanitarian team rescued an abandoned little girl in Cambodia in 2009. (American Way 9-15-10 copy) On that trip, they learned about the dark reality of human trafficking and determined to get involved. Inspired by Innocents at Risk to be aware, the following month on a mission to the Dominican Republic the team promised each other to be alert for anything unusual on flights out. Amazingly, that team correctly identified trafficking incidents on four airlines! Their first “tip” led to the bust of a pornography ring of 82 children.
Congressman Smith, the author of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, agreed to support AAI’s efforts to outreach to the airline industry. Read statement from Congressman Smith:
AAI then worked closely with Customs Border Protection to develop an industry-specific training consistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s “Blue Campaign”. The new training was premiered in 2011 in San Francisco with support of Congresswoman Jackie Speier and more recently commended by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee before the Super Bowl in Houston and AAI was highlighted at the End Human Trafficking ATL in 2019.
Since then Airline Ambassadors teams have provided 100 training presentations to 7,000 front line personnel at airports across the United States as well as at Interpol and the United Nations as well as in Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Colombia, Latvia, Colombia, Philippines, Malaysia, Jakarta. Thailand, Japan, Jamaica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Romania.
AAI provides seminars with a team of three to four trainers (including survivors of human trafficking) via a power-point presentation and handout materials. The training is tailored to airline / airport personnel, hotel employees, law enforcement and ground transportation. AAI is the first organization to have their curriculum adopted by the (International Tourism Management Institute) and they have received support from 12 members of Congress. See a list of our training’s and presentations here.