SFO Kicks Off Program To Help Detect, Stop Human Trafficking

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Travelers wait in line to go through security at San Francisco International Airport. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Travelers wait in line to go through security at San Francisco International Airport. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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MILBRAE (KCBS)— Airline officials at San Francisco International Airport are becoming the first in the nation to undergo specialized training to better spot human trafficking.

“It is a problem domestically and internationally. We probably have between 100,000 and 300,000 runaways and foster kids that become victims of sex trafficking in this country,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo County).

Speier was on hand for the start of the training program Monday at SFO.

Nancy Rivard, an American Airlines flight attendant, started the non-profit Airline Ambassadors with a goal of putting an end to human trafficking. Rivard helped lead a training program at SFO attended by dozens of industry employees.

She said a great majority of trafficking is made possible with the airline industry, and that it’s important that people in every facet of air travel know the warning signs, especially when young children board planes.

Rivard said people should be on the lookout for individuals who are “afraid of uniformed security, unsure of where they’re going, [feeling] frightened, ashamed or nervous.”

The hope is that this kind of program will be come common at airports on an international scale.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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