Delta donates more than 100 flights, $2.5 million to help human trafficking survivors

David Oliver

Delta Air Lines has given more than 100 flights to help fly human trafficking survivors through mileage donation program SkyWish and has now committed an additional $1.5 million to Polaris, the operator of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

The funding will help Polaris with human trafficking data analysis aimed at curbing human trafficking in the U.S. and will help ensure the hotline has staff working to answer the 200 to 300 contacts made every day. 

More than 70% of labor trafficking survivors say they travel on planes to the U.S. as part of their recruitment, according to a July 2018 Polaris report. And nearly 40% of human trafficking survivors and traffickers reported flying for the purposes of exploitation.  

Delta has worked on a number of initiatives to help bring awareness to human trafficking, including an in-flight video, giving survivors mentorship and career development opportunities and training employees on how to spot and report human trafficking. Delta had previously donated $1 million to Polaris in 2017. There has been a 36% increase in survivor contacts since then.

"It's rewarding to see tangible results of our partnership with Polaris helping the fight against human trafficking, and watching our support change lives," Allison Ausband, senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta and leader of the company's executive steering committee against human trafficking, said in a statement.

More: 13 sex trafficking statistics that explain the enormity of the global sex trade

"The problem of human trafficking has to be aggressively combatted from every angle, and for Delta that means getting our nearly 200 million customers and 80,000 employees onboard in the fight," she added. "We all have a role to play and can make a difference."

Members of Delta's SkyMiles rewards program can give miles to Polaris to help survivors.

Are you a human trafficking victim or know someone who is? The National Human Trafficking Hotline can be reached at 1-888-373-7888.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Delta Air Lines donates flights to help human trafficking survivors