Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Emirates airline promotes Liam Neeson's human trafficking awareness film

About 25 million people are trafficked every year - and one in four victims are under 18

A short film starring Liam Neeson and highlighting the devastation caused by global human trafficking will be aired on all Emirates flights. Courtesy: Emirates
A short film starring Liam Neeson and highlighting the devastation caused by global human trafficking will be aired on all Emirates flights. Courtesy: Emirates

A short film that draws attention to the exploitation of minors and women through human trafficking will be played on all Emirates flights.

In the film, Hollywood actor Liam Neeson appeals for people to join a campaign to end human trafficking by speaking out and supporting others.

“If you are being exploited or you think you may have seen something, then say something,” the actor says in the 'It’s a Penalty' global campaign.

About 25 million people are trafficked every year and one in four victims are under the age of 18.

“Most are trafficked within their own countries and cities and are coerced into forced labour or sexual exploitation, often by people they know,” Neeson says as he asks viewers to join the knowthesignsnow.org movement.

The film will be shown this month on ice, the airline’s in-flight entertainment system, to spread awareness.

“With greater awareness, more suspected cases can be identified and reported, thereby protecting and preventing those at risk from becoming victims,” Emirates said on Wednesday.

Human trafficking refers to people who are moved using force, threats, abduction or deception within a country or across borders.

Stark figures show the scale of the crime, with women and children making up 75 per cent of 24.9 million people trafficked globally in 2017, according to the International Labour Organisation. That is equivalent to the population of Australia.

The airline said it was committed to working with government agencies and international organisations to create effective strategies in the air transport industry.

Emirates crew and airport staff have been trained to identify suspected cases and report them to law enforcement officials.

Security personnel at Dubai International Airport receive special training on how to scan travel documents and profile passengers to spot potential traffickers.

Emirates crew and ground staff have access to an online module developed with the UK Home Office to prevent on-board crime.

The airline said training helped employees to stay alert and gauge passenger behaviour so they could identify a victim, while also providing guidance on how to respond.

The It’s a Penalty campaign was established in 2014 and works with athletes, the travel industry, hotels, governments and non-profit organisations to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Updated: October 14, 2020 04:20 PM

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