10 TELLS to See & Save Trafficking Victims moving in Air Transportation—please share them with peers

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It bears repeating that all aviation professionals MUST add your eyes, ears and other observation powers to interdict these human preys as they are forced through the air transportation system. JDA decided to include the below reminder (linked to Blue Lightning) on its web page to reinforce the need to recruit volunteers to help in this war against the people (using that term quite broadly) exploiting children, women and men.


v10Aero Time has published a very thorough article which describes and quantifies this horrific practice. Hopefully everyone will take the time to learn about this thriving industry. Having read these details, you will be far more motivated to become vigilant in identifying, intervening for and saving these victims.

The author includes 10 tips which should help in the identification of passengers being moved like cattle via airplane to a subhuman existence:



  • Is the person unable to move freely in an airport or on a plane?
  • Is he or she being controlled, closely watched or followed?
    • People being trafficked into slavery are sometimes guarded in transit, often by the means of controlling their documents and restricting their freedom of movement. The trafficker’s job is to ensure that the victim does not escape or reach out for help.”
  • “…fear and intimidation are amongst the main tools that traffickers use to control people in slavery.v22
  • Is the person afraid to discuss himself or herself in the presence of others, deferring any attempts at a conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them?
  • Traffickers often prevent victims from interacting with any airport or airline staff because the victim might say something that raises suspicion about their safety and freedom.

2. The interdiction at airports is highly important.

  • Train others to notice the signs of human trafficking,
  • ask the potential victims all the right questions, and
  • then report in accordance with the pre-determined protocol.

→ Ultimately, though, prevention is the only form of an effective cure.

3. “…never try to save the day and rescue the suspected victims.

  • Instead, one should immediately inform the airport or airline employees.
  • Having a direct contact with criminals might endanger your life (as well as the victim‘s), so it is wise to hold distance and contact authorities.

4. “If a suspect has wounds, bruises or signs of physical abuse, or even if they eat ravenously just as if they have not eaten for a long time, it’s a signal. Stay calm and contact the authorities immediately.”

5. “One reason victims don’t ask for help is because they have been brainwashed into thinking that no one cares, or they have not been rescued after previous pleas.” 

6. An older man or woman who is travelling with unrelated teen(s).

7. Adults buying tickets in cash for teens, but not accompanying them on the flight.

8. Girls who are inappropriately dressed.

9. Children who appear to be under someone else’s control and under surveillance at all times.

10. Minors with visible injuries, bruises, marks around wrists/ankles (where restraints were) or scars.



PLEASE, PLEASE INCLUDE THESE ATTRIBUTES IN YOUR NORMAL SCANNING OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT. Your expertise about the normal flow of passengers in your work environment provides the best sentinel in this war.

PLEASE, PLEASE SHARE THESE TEN TELLS WITH YOUR PEERS. Fellow airline employees, vendors at the airport, skycaps, restaurant workers, local security officers, facility management members and even TSA/CBP/ICE staff (who should have been trained on this information) can close the gaps in the network to deter this victimization.




ARTICLE: Modern-day slavery: how to spot a trafficking victim at the airport

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