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Fort McMurray Airport Authority Allies with #NotInMyCity to Deliver Human Trafficking Awareness Learning to Airport Staff

RJ Steenstra, President & CEO of Fort McMurray Airport Authority is helping to provide tools and skills for staff to identify human trafficking within the airport.

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority is pleased to share that it has embarked on a new education program for all airport employees in collaboration with #NotInMyCity.

Human trafficking and sexual exploitation are the fastest growing crimes in Canada and are the second largest source of illegal income worldwide. In Canada, 21 per cent of trafficking victims are under the age of 18. While making up only 4 per cent of the country’s population, 50 percent of Canada’s trafficking victims are Indigenous people.

Founded by country superstar Paul Brandt, #NotInMyCity is a facilitative organization that is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking, focusing on children and youth. In the transport sector, #NotInMyCity has already formally collaborated with the Calgary International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, and the Alberta Motor Transport Association.

“We know that human trafficking victims pass through our airport, and we want to do everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers and visitors,” says RJ Steenstra, President & CEO of Fort McMurray Airport Authority, “By working with #NotInMyCity, we are able to leverage the well-researched e-learning already in place, while adding enhanced screening tools and skills for our airport employees to use in their daily duties, staying vigilant and taking action when appropriate.”

It is anticipated that more than 57 direct and partner employees will participate in the e-learning program in the coming months, and it will be a mandatory component of security awareness training for all airport personnel with a role in the aviation security program in the future.

Says Paul Brandt, Founder of #NotInMyCity, “Creating awareness and providing education about human trafficking and sexual exploitation lets people recognize that these crimes are taking place here in Canada. By working with organizations such as the Fort McMurray Airport Authority, we have more people staying vigilant, and knowing what to do if they suspect a victim is travelling through their airport.”

According to the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, transportation corridors are frequently used by traffickers, and once a victim has been recruited, traffickers will often move them from city to city to maximize profits, access new markets and avoid competition. It also helps keep control of the victim who may not know where they are or how to get help, making it easier for traffickers to evade detection by police. Victims of labour trafficking may also enter Canada by way of air travel, under the false promise of a job or educational opportunity.

#NotInMyCity offers an interactive e-learning course for anyone interested in learning more about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada. It was developed in collaboration with national and international thought leaders. Upon completion of the free 30-minute e-course, participants are awarded with a certificate. Nearly 1,000 participants have completed the course in the past six months alone.

In Alberta, anyone can all 2-1-1 if they believe they witness or are experiencing human trafficking or sexual exploitation. If anyone is in immediate danger, it is recommended to call 9-1-1.