January 10, 2019
The Houston Airport System and its airline partners are teaming with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 in wearing blue to raise awareness on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Staff at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport will wear blue shirts and other blue apparel on Jan. 11 to show support for the DHS Blue Campaign against human trafficking.
As part of the efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking, the public also is asked to participate by taking photos of themselves, friends, family, and colleagues wearing blue clothing and sharing them on social media channels, posting with the #WearBlueDay hashtag.
“The Houston Airport System is taking an active role in supporting the effort to raise awareness and are committed to helping our federal partners in their efforts to combat human trafficking,” said Saba Abashawl, the Chief External Affairs Officer for the Houston Airport System. “We began developing a human trafficking awareness program in 2016 in partnership with Airline Ambassadors International immediately before Super Bowl came to Houston in 2017, and committed to initiating a program promoting awareness and education among volunteers and staff on how to identify possible human trafficking victims, as well as taking a visible stance to show that human trafficking is not acceptable at Houston’s airports.”
DHS estimates that human trafficking is a $32 billion per year industry, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.
The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.
Through the Blue Campaign, DHS raises public awareness about human trafficking, leveraging partnerships to educate the public to recognize human trafficking and report suspected instances. The Blue Campaign also offers training to law enforcement, airline and airport staff and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, and to protect victims and bring suspected traffickers to justice.