Comstock’s SOS Act aims to fight human trafficking

U.S. Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require airline industry employees to be trained to recognize and report human trafficking.

The Secure our Skies (SOS) Act follows reports of an increase in human trafficking, as well as growing support from airline employees seeking to combat such crimes. Under the SOS Act, contractors and airlines would be required to develop training materials for their employees that include common human trafficking indicators and best practices for reporting suspected cases to law enforcement.

“It is critical that we are ever vigilant in the fight against the heinous crime of human trafficking,” Comstock said. “Every day, flight attendants see and interact with children on the thousands of flights across our country and throughout the world. They are the eyes and ears in this constant battle, and this legislation will give them the tools to save the most vulnerable in our society and fight this terrible scourge. I want to thank Congresswoman Titus for working in a bipartisan manner on this important legislation.”

The SOS Act follows the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation’s volunteer Blue Lightning training program for airline personnel that was established in 2013.

“These crimes don’t just happen on the ground and they are just as hard to spot in the sky,” Titus, a member of the House Subcommittee on Aviation, said. “The SOS Act will help to close off the nation’s skies to perpetrators of these heinous crimes by providing training to airline professionals who are in the best position to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking. We all have a role to play in stopping human trafficking, and this legislation will ensure our airline personnel can spot the signs and stop the crimes.”

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