Immigration Minister Damian Green has hailed a new initiative to help cabin crew spot signs of human trafficking.
Virgin Atlantic is providing its cabin crew with special training to identify those who may be engaged in trafficking, their potential victims and how to report them to authorities before they arrive in the UK.
It is the first time an airline has worked with the UK Border Agency on training for cabin crew - a goal set out in the government’s Human Trafficking Strategy published in July.
Human Trafficking Strategy
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘We have already made significant progress on the commitments we made in our Human Trafficking Strategy to do more to tackle this issue and this initiative provides us with another powerful tool to help combat it.
‘I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic is leading the way in providing this training for staff and I would strongly encourage other airlines to step up and join the fight.’
E-learning and 24-hour helpline
The Virgin pilot project includes an e-learning package that raises awareness among staff about the issues surrounding human trafficking and details the indicators to look out for during a flight.
Cabin crew, who are in a prime position to identify both victims and traffickers, will have access to a 24-hour helpline to report concerns to the UK Border Agency. This will ensure that officers can meet the flight and question the individual concerned allowing law enforcement agencies to take action against traffickers and provide support to the victims of trafficking.