By Gboyega Oni
Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have emphasized their joint commitment and work to help combat human trafficking in support of the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, today July 30, 2018.
According to IATA, aviation connects the world, carrying more than four billion passengers a year, but this global network is also used nefariously by traffickers to transport people against their will.
The support by the two international aviation bodies was contained in a press statement made available to PortNews by IATA in Lagos.
IATA stated that both airlines and airports are determined to assist authorities by reporting suspected human trafficking cases, and making it as difficult as possible for the global air transport network to be exploited for this evil trade, which affects some 25 million people annually.
It added that the industry is committed to raising awareness, helping to train staff to recognize the signs of trafficking, and putting in place reporting protocols to alert the appropriate authorities.
To mark the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (30 July), ACI and IATA invite airline and airport co-workers, colleagues and industry partners and supporters to raise awareness of aviation’s commitment to fight trafficking.
“Human trafficking creates misery for millions, and helps fund criminal gangs and terrorism. Aviation is the business of freedom. And we are taking action to help authorities ensure that our global network is not exploited for evil ends. As an industry, we have our eyes open, and are working with governments and law enforcement to stop trafficking. Through a joint campaign with our airport colleagues, we hope to further mobilize the aviation industry in the fight against this abhorrent trade in people’s lives,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“People trafficking is an appalling crime which we should do all we can to combat. The safety and security of passengers remains all airports’ number one priority and the airport community is determined to work with border authorities and our partners across the world in helping to put a stop to this activity. We stand together with our airline colleagues in keeping our eyes open to the signs of human trafficking. Many of our airport members are already demonstrating their commitment to the campaign. We continue to strengthen our combined efforts in awareness, training, and reporting,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World.