32.5Kshares sections of the following article were originally posted ~ above NBC News, by Kalhan Rosenblatt. 4 minute read. Shelia Fedrick claimed she instinctively felt something was wrong the…


Portions that the following post were initially posted ~ above NBC News, by Kalhan Rosenblatt. 4 minute read.

You are watching: Flight attendant saves girl from human trafficking

Shelia Fedrick said she instinctively feeling something was wrong the moment she saw the girl v dirty blonde hair sitting in the window seat that aisle 10 ~ above a trip from Seattle to mountain Francisco.

“The girl looked favor she had actually been with pure hell,” stated Fedrick, 49, a trip attendant working for Alaska Airlines. Fedrick guessed that the girl was around 14 or 15 year old, traveling v a notably well-dressed larger man. The distinct contrast between the two set off alarm bells in her head.

Fedrick tried to interact them in conversation, however the man ended up being defensive, she said.

“I left a keep in mind in one of the bathrooms,” Fedrick said. “She wrote ago on the note and said ‘I require help."”

Fedrick claims she referred to as the pilot and told him around the passengers, and when the airplane landed, police were waiting in the terminal.

Airline Ambassadors

It’s that type of intuition the former trip attendant Nancy Rivard, founder of Airline Ambassadors, is trying come instill in airline staff across the nation as she trains lock on how to spot the signs of human trafficking.

Related: How To recognize (And Rescue) A Victim that Sex Trafficking

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims critical year. Because 2009 Airline Ambassadors has been functioning to make sure that as soon as a trafficker flies v a victim, the flight crew is trained come spot and report them.

Shelia Fedrick Courtesy the Shelia Fedrick

Recently, Rivard and several of her colleagues flew come Houston to accomplish with approximately 100 flight attendants that volunteered because that the Airline Ambassadors training conference on just how to recognize human trafficking. Over two days, former victims connected their experience to the flight attendants.

In-flight crews to be taught to look because that passengers who appear frightened, awkward or nervous; human being traveling v someone who doesn’t appear to it is in a parent or relative; and also children or adults who show up bruised or battered. They’re likewise taught to notification if who insists on speaking for the alleged victim, doesn’t allow them out of their vision or becomes defensive when questioned. Victim sometimes show up drugged.

Learning To pull Back

Airline Ambassador trip attendants say among the hardest lessons to find out is come pull earlier when they suspect a victim is on board.

“We tell civilization not to try to rescue due to the fact that you deserve to endanger the victim and also yourself,” Rivard said.

Flight attendants call the pilot as soon as they suspect a person trafficking victim is on board. The pilot climate calls ahead to the flights’ location where authorities are notified to meet the plane.

“One component of ours training, and also it’s the daunting part, but once us report it, we’re claimed to let that go,” says Andrea Hobart, 36, one Airline Ambassador trainer and also flight attendant with Alaska Airlines. “Even though it’s difficult to let that go, you transport it right into the hand of the authorities and also they’ll go after the case.”

Flight air hostess trainer gather because that a two-day seminar organized by Airline Ambassadors international in Houston, Texas. Courtesy of Nancy Rivard

Airline Ambassadors has likewise taken the fight to conference to push for regular, required trip attendant cultivate on all airline in the united States.

Related: This brand-new App help You protect against Sex smuggling While you Travel

Airline Ambassador Sandra Fiorini, 69, testified prior to Congress in 2010 about trafficking she witnessed during her 42-year career together a trip attendant through American Airlines, including girls she suspected to be trafficked after paris from Moscow come the United states under the guise of becoming actresses and models.

Last year, the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security plot of 2016 implemented training of trip attendants come spot potential trafficking victims.

But Rivard and Fiorini continue to lobby congress for much better awareness maintain for trip attendants.

Until that happens, Rivard will store traveling across the country teaching flight attendants just how to it is in the eye in the sky protecting person trafficking victims.

What YOU can Do

Not every one of us are flight attendants, yet each the us have the right to do our component to know the signs of trafficking and speak up. It all starts with learning what to look for. Websites prefer the Polaris Project, Hope for Justice, prevent The Traffik, and the U.S. Department of Health and also Human services all have comprehensive lists of red flags, and also being familiar with them can aid all the us recognize and assist trafficking victims also if us don’t guess encountering them.

The reality is that prostitution, sex trafficking, and porn are an ext closely linked than culture would believe. The fact is the sex smuggling is a worldwide issue, and also it is just made worse through pornography. Any kind of sex-related exploitation only fuels the demand for the sex profession as a whole.

Related: The Inseparable Link between Porn and also Human Trafficking

In the end, erotic fuels prostitution; and also porn and prostitution space the products the sex trade exists come deliver.

We struggle to carry awareness to the reality that porn isn’t harmless entertainment, and also the porn sector wouldn’t be whereby it is now without sex trafficking and prostitution.

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Related: 5 basic Ways You can Fight Sex smuggling In Your daily Life

Knowledge is power, and also being aware of the facts is vital step in decreasing the demand for sexual exploitation and porn, and help to eliminate sex trafficking. Help spread out this knowledge and also SHARE this write-up so that others deserve to be aware. Together, we have the right to fight to protect against the demand for sexual exploitation in society. Adjust begins with one, and stopping the demand starts through us.


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