Human Trafficking: At PHL, We #WearBlue to Raise Awareness of this Horrible Crime

Human trafficking, the illegal trade of human beings for exploitation or forced labor, is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world, generating billions of dollars in illegal profits and affecting an estimated 24.9 million men, women and children around the globe. This form of modern-day slavery reaches every age, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, or socioeconomic background, and exists in every region of the United States - including right here in Philadelphia.

Airports are a key point of access for traffickers, who use airports - as well as other transportation hubs, including train and bus stations - to scout for and move their victims. That is why PHL has joined up with the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation (DOT) on the Blue Lightning Initiative, an element of the DHS Blue Campaign, to combat human trafficking.

Airport workers and airline personnel are becoming better trained to spot trafficking as awareness about the crime increases. To date, the Blue Lightning Initiative has trained more than 100,000 aviation personnel in knowing the signs and reporting to federal law enforcement officials, with protocols for both on-the-ground and in-flight reporting. 

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Common indicators might include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of control over travel identification/documents
  • No freedom of movement/social interaction
  • Difficulty articulating reasonable/logical travel plans
  • Non-genuine relationship; particularly parent or guardian/child

Wear BlueHow can YOU help? Passengers and the public have a responsibility to be vigilant. Learn the basic indicators of human trafficking by viewing DHS Blue Campaign's general awareness training videos to know how to recognize and report human trafficking.

January 11, 2022 is #WearBlueDay, in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Here at PHL, employees are encouraged to #WearBlue and post about it on social media to shine a spotlight on human trafficking. Anyone can make a difference. Show your solidarity by joining us in wearing blue and follow the Blue Campaign on social media (@DHSBlueCampaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).


Media Contacts

Heather Redfern
Public Affairs Manager
Shawn Hawes
Public Information Officer

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