Delta is determined to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.
Sadly, the U.S. is one of the worst places in the world for human trafficking — according to our own State Department. In addition, a report from the Urban Institute has indicated at least 71 percent of labor-trafficking victims arrive in the U.S. by airplane prior to their exploitation.
While alarming, those statistics also prove airlines have quite a large role to play in the fight to stop human trafficking.
Keenly aware of that reality, Delta has provided more than 100 flights to carry victims of human trafficking to safety as part of its SkyWish program, a mileage donation initiative designed in partnership with Polaris, creator of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Delta has also donated $1.5 million to Polaris. Since its first $1 million donation in 2017, the hotline has experienced a 36 percent increase in contacts from survivors of human trafficking, 86 percent of whom are female and 77 percent of whom are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
“It’s rewarding to see tangible results of our partnership with Polaris helping the fight against human trafficking, and watching our support change lives,” said Allison Ausband, senior vice president of in-flight service for Delta and the leader of the Atlanta-based company’s executive steering committee against human trafficking.
“The problem of human trafficking,” she continued, “has to be aggressively combatted from every angle, and for Delta, that means getting our nearly 200 million customers and 80,000 employees onboard in the fight. We all have a role to play and can make a difference.”
Customers are invited to donate any portion of their miles to Polaris, which works to transfer victims to safety and ultimately connect them with the care they desperately need.
To raise awareness about the partnership, Delta developed an in-flight video to play on any airliner equipped with television screens on the backs of its seats. The company first aired the video in January, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Delta has also trained 66,000 of its employees to identify and report potential victims and has encouraged travelers to be vigilant and look for signs of human trafficking. Those who suspect abuse are encouraged to text “Help” to 233733.