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PBIA targets human trafficking with new in-terminal campaign

Airport Security
The badge and TSA logo patch are seen on the uniform of a Transportation Security Administration employee at one of the security checkpoints inside Lambert- St. Louis International Airport Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL)- Palm Beach International Airport launched a new effort this week to protect potential victims of human trafficking in Florida.

A new public service announcement will be played over the airport’s public address system every 30 minutes, asking travelers to be on the lookout for possible victims.

The message is in both English and Spanish.

According to The Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches, of the 738 confirmed cases reported in Florida in 2021, 15 were at PBIA.

Victims of human trafficking can be forced into working as sex workers or as indentured servants, regardless of age.

Airports Council International say some of the signs that someone may be a victim of human trafficking include:

  • People with few or no personal items
  • Clothing that does not fit their travel destination
  • Are visibly upset, fearful or anxious
  • In the airport for a long period of time
  • Anxious around uniformed security
  • Unsure of destination, reason for travel, or who will be meeting them
  • Scripted or inconsistent stories
  • Claims to be adult, but looks like a minor

Florida ranks 3rd for human trafficking behind California and Texas with the Tampa Bay area leading the state in reported cases.

If you spot someone you think may be a victim, report it to airport security or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.