Delta Provides 100 Flights to Help Survivors, Commits Additional $1.5M to U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline
Thursday, August 15th, 2019
As the leading airline in the fight against exploitation, Delta Air Lines has now provided more than 100 flights to help transport trafficking survivors and victims through SkyWish, a mileage donation program, in partnership with Polaris. Today, Delta is also contributing an additional $1.5 million to Polaris in continued support of the organization and National Human Trafficking Hotline, which connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services to get help and stay safe.
Today's contribution will support the organization for the next three years, and follows a $1 million contribution the airline provided in 2017, making Delta's total investment in the resource $2.5 million. In addition to helping Polaris conduct critical human trafficking data analysis that supports anti-trafficking efforts across the United States, the funding will help ensure the National Hotline has enough staff to respond to the 200-300 contacts made daily.
Since Delta's original sponsorship, there has been a 36 percent increase in contacts from survivors, including a 21 percent increase in contacts since 2017. The Hotline received 41,088 contacts last year.
"It's rewarding to see tangible results of our partnership with Polaris helping the fight against human trafficking, and watching our support change lives," said Allison Ausband, Senior Vice President — In-Flight Service and leader of Delta's Executive Steering Committee Against Human Trafficking.
"The problem of human trafficking has to be aggressively combatted from every angle, and for Delta that means getting our nearly 200 million customers and 80,000 employees onboard in the fight. We all have a role to play and can make a difference."
There are an estimated 25 million people enslaved today according to the International Labor Organization. Seventy-one percent of labor trafficking victims report traveling on planes to the United States during their recruitment, and almost 40 percent of all human trafficking victims report flying during their exploitation.
Delta's partnership with Polaris has prompted a number of initiatives since it began 2017. This year, the airline developed an in-flight video played on all aircraft equipped with seatback screens during Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January. Delta also supports trafficking survivors in re-entry by offering apprenticeships to provide mentorship and career development skills. Delta received survivor input through Polaris to create a custom training for its employees, and has trained 66,000 Delta employees so far to identify and report human trafficking.
How You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking
SkyMiles Members can donate miles to Polaris to help transport survivors, connect them to safety, or provide critical care. Over 6 million miles have been donated thus far between Delta and our customers. Stories of survivors who have received flights:
A child survivor of sex trafficking identified by law enforcement was provided with a Delta flight to transport her from the country where she experienced the exploitation back to the United States, and custody was transferred directly to her mother.
The National Hotline worked with a service provider and law enforcement to provide resources to the survivors of a multi-location illicit massage business operation after law enforcement shut down the locations. We used a flight to get a survivor connected to a long-term program out of state, where she would receive ongoing support.
Another survivor gained custody of her child after losing custody during a trafficking situation. With a Delta flight, we transported her home to get her child, then return the two of them to a long-term recovery program.
"We couldn't be prouder to partner with Delta Air Lines and its team of employees dedicated to helping us combat human trafficking," said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris. "From helping us ensure there are staff available to answer calls on the National Hotline to encouraging Delta customers to donate miles so we can help survivors get home after a trafficking situation, Delta's work continues to lead the way."