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Are enough airline staff being trained to identify trafficking victims?

Irish airlines are being encouraged to use the online training resource, developed by the Justice Department.

Image: Trafficking via Shutterstock

AIRLINES ARE BEING encouraged to use an online training resource developed to help staff recognise the potential victims of human trafficking.

A National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking of Human Beings in Ireland said airlines need to develop awareness among their staff of the potential vulnerability of children travelling alone or with adults, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said recently.

He was asked about his plans to introduce a requirement for special training for airline staff to enable them to identify victims of trafficking, by Deputy Ciaran Lynch.

Shatter said that in 2012 the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of his Department, in consultation with their counterparts in the United Kingdom, developed a training resource for airline staff.

This is available at www.blueblindfold.gov.ie.

The Minister said that both the Irish and United Kingdom authorities have made contact since then with airlines flying into and out of both jurisdictions, looking for them to provide training to airline staff on the indicators of human trafficking.

Deputy Lynch has called on airlines to provide their staff with the necessary training.

“Airlines are on the frontline of the effort to tackle this heinous crime,” he said.

He added that passengers too also play their part, “by being on the lookout for evidence that a fellow passenger is a victim of trafficking”.

A second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings in Ireland is currently being drafted.

Read: EU Commissioner calls for continued pressure by police to combat sex trafficking>

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