AFA Leads U.S. Delegation in Brazil to Combat Human Trafficking

AFA Leads U.S. Delegation in Brazil to Combat Human Trafficking

July 30, 2023 — Our union has worked for a decade to be 100,000 trained eyes in the skies to combat human trafficking. In 2015, AFA launched a major campaign — Hidden in Plane Sight — to support the Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Last week, AFA partnered with the DHS Blue Campaign to expand the Blue Lighting program abroad in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Blue campaign provided two days of training sessions at GRU airport. Over 100 airline workers in Brazil attended the first international BLI training.

In order to overcome skepticism about working with the U.S. Government, our union bridged the gap with our labor affiliates in Sao Paulo. SNA is the aviation union in Sao Paulo representing all unionized airport workers at Latam, GOL, and Azul.

Additionally, we had an opportunity to meet with the International Transport Workers Federation’s (ITF) South American office which covers Central and South America. IFT represents over 17 million transport workers. At this meeting, Flight Attendant and aviation union reps discussed the global issue of disruptive passengers, mental health and peer resource programs to make sure all are supported in our unique industry. We share the common goal to protect and empower Cabin Crew around the world.

As Flight Attendants, we are uniquely positioned to identify human traffickers and assist the victims. Flight crews are skilled observers, and with the appropriate training we can be the frontline against trafficking. Today on July 30th, we recommit to stopping these heinous crimes.

Background: AFA led the fight on Capitol Hill to pass legislation requiring mandatory training for Flight Attendants. Thousands of Flight Attendants rallied as we urged Congress to pass legislation which led to the inclusion of mandatory training for Flight Attendants in the 2016 FAA Reauthorization Bill.

In 2017, AFA became the first labor union to secure a memorandum of understanding to bring the Blue Lightning Training to thousands of Flight Attendants.


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