Sept 14, Colombo: The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, is conducting a training of trainers for SriLankan Airlines aircrew on identifying and reporting trafficking in persons on board flights.
The two-day training commenced Friday in Colombo at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is designed specifically for airline personnel, according to an IOM release.
The training draws on the Guidelines for Training Cabin Crew on Identifying and Responding to Trafficking in Persons launched this year by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR.)
A group of 29 cabin crew training instructors, ground handling staff instructors and security staff instructors took part in the training. Participants will in turn will train all types of passenger handling staff, including cabin crews, at Sri Lanka's national airline.
"It is timely and prudent that we are aware and play our part in the global fight against human trafficking - an issue that does not have limits or boundaries," said Thusitha Ranasinghe, the airline’s Cabin Safety Training Manager.
Day 1 of the training, led by IOM's senior migration protection specialist in the Asia-Pacific region Jonathan Martens, addressed basic concepts and elements of human trafficking, with a focus on control mechanisms, visual cues and assessment indicators. Day 2 will teach participants how to report trafficking cases and help victims.
Aviation is a frequent mode of transport used by human traffickers and cabin crew and other airline personnel can encounter situations of human trafficking on board.
"Everybody has a role to play in combating trafficking and the role of the transport industry, especially aviation, is increasingly important with increased freedom of movement," said OHCHR Senior Human Rights Advisor Juan Fernandez.
"This training is the first of its kind ever conducted in Sri Lanka. The aviation industry is in a unique position to identify and report trafficking cases, if cabin crew members and ground staff are properly equipped with the required skills," said IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti.
The training is part of a larger Australian-funded IOM project that for the past year has supported Sri Lanka’s National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force in implementing a nationwide public information campaign on trafficking in persons, including awareness raising initiatives at local and grassroots levels.