Training at Sky Harbor aims to combat human trafficking in the tourism industry

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- At Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on Tuesday, employees learned how to spot someone who is being trafficked.

It is a program put on by the Attorney General's Office and the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network. and the big takeaway from the training is that human trafficking can happen whether you live in a small community, big city or safe town.

Human trafficking experts say employees have a unique opportunity to see human trafficking up close at an airport, when they are on a plane.

"It is something we have to get away from, thinking it doesn't happen in my workplace, it doesn't happen in my town. It happens everywhere," said Michelle Rucker, Outreach Education Manager with the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced new training for the tourism industry to combat human trafficking, and they started with Sky Harbor. Flight attendants and other airport employees learned what they can look out for, and what they can do if they see someone who is being trafficked for sex.

"If you have someone who is being trafficked and they are flying on an aircraft, or that person is going to go to the bathroom, that trafficker is going to follow them and stand outside the bathroom. Small quarters there," said Rucker.

Craig Jordan, an operations manager with American Airlines, was in the class. He says it is eye-opening to learn that someone may be transported against their will.

"Some of the behavior they brought out today, like overly protective partners or kids who aren't dressed well, people who aren't traveling with a lot of possessions," said Jordan.

This is something Jordan and others plan to be proactive about in doing their best to combat the issue in their industry.

"We wish we didn't live in a world like this, but we do live in a world like this," said Jordan.