Blue Lightning initiative teaches commercial flight crews to spot human traffickers and their victims.
By mid-November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are scheduled to complete development of an interactive, digital training module to teach commercial airline employees to assist in the fight against human trafficking. The BLI training course is an interactive, self-paced training module that details human trafficking indicators aviation personnel are most likely to observe in the air environment. Furthermore, the course provides information on how to report human trafficking to U.S. law enforcement effectively.
The training module is being developed as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), which provides commercial airline employees a voluntary mechanism not only to identify potential human trafficking victims but also to notify federal authorities. Airline personnel may report suspected human trafficking via a toll-free tip line, an online tip form, an internationally available tip line number or through flight deck communications.
DHS officials have described human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery, often involving the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit people for some type of labor or commercial sex purpose. Every year, millions of men, women and children worldwide are victims of human trafficking, according to the DHS website.