Flight Attendant Union Strengthens Partnership With Department of Transportation To Fight Human Trafficking

Chicago, IL – Addressing the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) annual Board of Directors convention, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood commended AFA for its collective dedication to combating human trafficking. Secretary LaHood emphasized the importance of proper training for Flight Attendants in order to identify possible victims and report potential trafficking to the authorities. AFA is among the network of partners working together with DOT and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to educate frontline transportation workers on how to help stop human trafficking.

“Flight Attendants play a key role in making our aviation system the safest in the world,” said Secretary LaHood. “From educating parents on the use of safety seats to helping guard against human trafficking, they are on the front lines when it comes to keeping travelers safe. Together, with increased awareness and training, we can help put a stop to human trafficking.” 

“As aviation’s first responders, Flight Attendants are well positioned to observe, identify and report suspected cases of human trafficking. With the tools gained from proper training, coupled with constant vigilance, Flight Attendants can help stop criminals and save lives. We will continue to call on our airlines’ management to ensure that all Flight Attendants have access to enhanced training and resources that can potentially save others from a horrible life,” said Veda Shook, AFA International President. 

The United Nations estimates that there are 27 to 30 million slaves in the world today. Each year 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across borders. However, cases of human trafficking are often under-reported making real, concrete statistics hard to calculate. 

“AFA is grateful to work in collaboration with DOT and DHS on the fight to end the serious and heinous civil rights violation that is human trafficking. We thank Secretary LaHood for his leadership on this issue and for his commitment to ensuring that our aviation transportation system is safe for everyone,” added Shook. 

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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