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  3. Human Trafficking
  4. Blue Lightning Initiative

Blue Lightning Initiative

The Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), led by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Transportation, is an element of the DHS Blue Campaign. The BLI trains airline personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims, and to report their suspicions to federal law enforcement. To date, more than 70,000 personnel in the aviation industry have been trained through the BLI, and actionable tips continue to be reported to law enforcement.

Blue Lightning Initiative Training Module

The “FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016,” signed by the President on July 15, 2016, requires air carriers to provide initial and annual flight attendant training regarding recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims. Becoming a BLI partner and using the virtual training is a simple and responsible way to adhere to the new requirement.

We recently updated the BLI training based on feedback from airlines and human trafficking survivors.

The new BLI training, which can be previewed through the 3-minute trailer below, is 17 minutes in length, and is comprised of four lessons that include:

  1. What is Human Trafficking?
  2. Indicators of Human Trafficking Activity
  3. Reporting Suspected Human Trafficking
  4. Indicator Challenge

How does the Blue Lightning Initiative work?

Participating airlines instruct their employees using the BLI virtual training module and associated printed educational materials. The training may be integrated into airlines' initial or refresher training for flight attendants, pilots, customer service representatives, and other personnel.

The BLI training illustrates common indicators of trafficking that airline employees may encounter, and how to immediately report suspected trafficking to law enforcement.

The BLI’s real-time reporting mechanism gives law enforcement the ability to research and analyze information, and to coordinate an appropriate and effective response.

To alert authorities about suspected trafficking, as outlined in the BLI training, airline employees can follow their airline's in-flight reporting protocol or call the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line.

How can airlines participate?

For airlines wanting to learn more about using the BLI to inform their employees about human trafficking and their reporting options, contact and for more information.

Participation is open to any U.S. airline. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation are considering whether and how to expand the BLI training to foreign-flagged airlines.

What other actions can airlines take to help stop human trafficking?

Airlines can post Blue Campaign posters, indicator cards or basic human trafficking awareness materials inside aircrafts as well as airing the Blue Campaign infographic on pre-flight videos to educate passengers to recognize and report human trafficking.

What can passengers do?

We all have a responsibility to be vigilant. Passengers can help by learning the basic indicators of human trafficking by taking DHS Blue Campaign' general awareness training to recognize and report human trafficking.

Last Modified: Mar 12, 2024