On Wednesday, 20 October, leading companies in the aviation industry, with the participation of State institutions and non-governmental organizations will discuss and test a cooperation mechanism to prevent human trafficking in aviation.
The seminar, which will bring together representatives of Riga Airport, the national airline airBaltic, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the society “Patvērums “Drošā māja”” and the Centre MARTA, will improve joint action to combat human trafficking in the aviation sector.
“Airport employees acquire skills to recognize cases of human trafficking within a special training programme. We can make an even greater contribution to the safety of every passenger if we not only know the risks of this serious crime, but also work with other institutions to define and learn through clear training algorithms to eradicate human trafficking and help its victims,” says Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Airport Board.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now joined the Memorandum on the Prevention of Human Trafficking in Aviation; the memorandum was initiated last year by Riga Airport and the largest companies in the aviation sector, the Ministry of the Interior and non-governmental organizations signed the memorandum in October on the day when the European Union Day against Trafficking in Human Beings is celebrated.
Andris Pelšs, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "I am pleased with the Memorandum on the Prevention of Human Trafficking in Aviation signed today. By developing closer cooperation between inter-sectoral institutions and non-governmental organizations, we can fight human trafficking more successfully. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Latvia's diplomatic and consular missions abroad are actively involved in combating human trafficking and providing assistance to victims. I would like to invite every national who has become a victim of human trafficking abroad to immediately apply to the nearest Latvian mission for asylum and the information about further action to take. I also call on everyone to be careful and critically evaluate each situation and possible risks. Nothing is more valuable than life and health. And we should always keep this in mind!”
The development of the aviation sector memorandum was initiated by Riga Airport, which has previously been involved in various activities to prevent this global crime. The purpose of the memorandum is to promote the prevention of trafficking in human beings and to strengthen cooperation between aviation companies, State institutions and non-governmental organizations in identifying and referring victims of trafficking in human beings for the provision of support, assistance and protection. Within the framework of the memorandum of cooperation, industry players, responsible State institutions and the non-governmental sector undertake to cooperate on a voluntary basis, outlining the boundaries, scope and basic principles of cooperation.
Riga Airport is a fast-growing Northern European air traffic hub, connecting the Baltic countries with European business centres and popular holiday destinations. As a member organization of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Aviation Industry Charter for COVID-19, Riga Airport works to the highest standards of epidemiological safety. Skytrax has awarded Riga Airport a four-star rating for its implemented Covid-19 safety measures.