Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. Human traffickers often use local, state, and national infrastructure and transportation systems, including all types of airports, to undertake this activity. Research shows that there is limited insight and understanding of human trafficking networks, and this lack of information impedes investigation, interdiction, and decision support related to human trafficking by law enforcement agencies. According to members of the anti-human trafficking community, while several airlines may have trained their flight personnel, airports will have varied ways of addressing reports of suspected instances human trafficking. Close coordination between law enforcement and the aviation sector is important in addressing security in the transportation system in an appropriate and effective manner. Airport personnel can take several actions to gain awareness and supply information for anti-human trafficking efforts, including knowing the signs of human trafficking and collecting actionable information. By supporting the investigation and interdiction of human trafficking that occurs in and around their facilities, airports can improve their security posture, provide for the safety of the traveling public, and help the diverse victims of this under-reported crime.
The objective of this research is to create guidance that provides airport industry practitioners with strategies to help combat human trafficking at airports, including assisting federal, state, and local law enforcement.