London Gatwick Airport has partnered with anti-human trafficking charity A21 to develop training programs that raise awareness among frontline staff to help combat human trafficking.
The announcement follows the second Safer Gatwick partnership event hosted by Gatwick and attended by Sussex Police, A21, Barnardo’s, Street Light, Gatwick Travel Care and UK Border Force. Attendees heard from a variety of experts about the extent of human trafficking, the forms it can take, and what staff can do to spot the warning signs.
Human traffickers often use established forms of transport, which is why airports can play a leading role in identifying possible victims and helping to prevent human trafficking.
Over the past 12 months, Gatwick has been training its frontline workers and airport partners to increase awareness of the practices used by human traffickers. More than 2,000 pocket-sized leaflets have been distributed to staff, cleaners, security and airport retailers.
Tony Gilbert, security regulation and police relationship manager, London Gatwick, said, “Airports can play an important role in identifying possible victims of human trafficking which is why Gatwick is stepping up the training of our front-line staff to ensure they are aware of possible warning signs and know what to do if they suspect someone may be a possible victim.
“Human trafficking can take a variety of different forms which is why we are working closely with our partners from anti human trafficking organizations like A21 and the police, who put significant effort into raising awareness and stamping out this insidious trade. We are committed to supporting this crucial work and training and up-skilling our people at Gatwick who are actively helping to combat these practices.”
Darren Taylor, sergeant, Gatwick Airport Policing Team, said, “Working in conjunction with Gatwick Airport and other agencies, we are committed to raising awareness and putting a stop to human trafficking. Unfortunately, it’s a crime which is on the increase, and we would encourage anyone who suspects it to report it.”
Charlie Blythe, A21 UK director, said, “Human trafficking is often overlooked because it’s hiding in plain sight. Traffickers don’t always transport their victims in the back of lorries, vans or shipping containers, they use the same airports, airlines and airplanes that thousands of other passengers do.
“That is why airports such as Gatwick play a vital role in combatting the issue of human trafficking and I love that they have been so forthcoming in doing something about the problem. Not only have we delivered training, we have also held events, raised awareness in the terminal and produced awareness material for all staff members.”