Though it was six years ago, Shelia Fedrick of Alaska Airlines actions in saving a young girl being transported from Seattle to San Francisco by a sex trafficker, has provided the grist for human trafficking awareness training for other flight attendants of all airlines around the globe.
Fedrick, noticed a girl with greasy blonde hair, about 14 or 15, sitting next to a well dressed older man. Interaction with the young lady was stilted and the girl deferred to older man for answers. Fedrick, through conversation, encouraged the young lady to visit the plane’s restroom, where Fedrick had left a note, which asked if she was in trouble and provided Fedrick’s cell number. The note was left with a pen. The young girl, wrote on the Fedrick’s note: I need help.
Fedrick advised the pilot and law enforcement was awaiting the flight, and arrested the man upon arrival.
The organization Airline Flight Ambassador International conducts training for flight attendants around the globe. The training includes helping flight attendants recognize the common traits of sex trafficking victims.
- -Not in control of travel documents
- -Frightened ashamed or nervous
- -Under control of companion
- -Unsure of destination
You too can be aware, as the greatest threat to the human trafficker is discovery. Therefore, if you see something, say something.
Also in 2011, my wife and I visited the land of my childhood, Thailand. We retraced the steps of my youth, and learned When You Step Into Your Past You May Step Into a Cow-Patty. In this instance, we saw, we said something and we engaged. You can too.