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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Proposals Sought for Anti-Human Trafficking Plan for Airports

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is seeking proposals to develop an anti-human trafficking plan for airports.

The plan will be coordinated by the Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP). ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to airport challenges. ACRP is authorized by Congress, sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, and managed by the TRB.

There are significant research gaps in the understanding of human trafficking, and, by its very nature, trafficking is often difficult to detect.  Although the amount of resources and practice to combat this issue is increasing, responding to potential instances of trafficking in an airport setting remains challenging, and sometimes unintentionally results in negative outcomes. This is often due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders and jurisdictions, resource limitations, and insufficient training.

Research is therefore needed to help airports develop a cohesive approach to help address human trafficking activities that may be occurring at their facility.

To meet this need, ACRP is looking for proposals to develop a primer, guidebook, and toolkit to help airport operators create and implement a comprehensive anti-human trafficking action plan. These deliverables should address all forms of human trafficking and allow airport operators to tailor their approach to their unique situation.

The primer should provide (at a minimum):

  • Overview of all forms of human trafficking;
  • Overview of human trafficking in an airport setting;
  • Description of the roles of airports and stakeholders (e.g., law enforcement and other agencies, non-government organizations, contractors, tenants) in identifying and reducing human trafficking; and
  • Summary of current practice at airports.

The guidebook should include (at a minimum):

  • Guidelines, including examples, to help airports:
    • Conduct a vulnerability and needs assessment;
    • Conduct a jurisdictional analysis (e.g., how authorities relate to each other to identify overlaps and gaps);
    • Create an airport-specific anti-human trafficking action plan that considers:
      • Geography,
      • Activity levels,
      • Types of aircraft operations and service,
      • Existing practices,
      • Existing and potential programs and partners (e.g., local, state, federal, tribal agencies, faith-based, and non-government organizations),
      • Internal/external stakeholder coordination and engagement,
      • Resource availability, and
      • Political environment and local conditions;
    • Evaluate the plan’s effectiveness (e.g., through a peer review); and
    • Select and use the resources in the toolkit;
  • Examples of specific human trafficking incidents at airports, including diverse perspectives, and lessons learned;
  • Annotated list of resources (e.g., publications, training materials, and organizations) that could support the development of an airport anti-trafficking program; and
  • Representative positive and negative case studies (including non-airport examples, if appropriate). 

The toolkit should include (at a minimum):

  • Tools to inventory and track human trafficking awareness and practice at an airport;
  • Checklists and flowcharts to aid in decision-making, action plan development, and plan implementation;
  • Airport anti-human trafficking action plan template that includes the following components (at a minimum):
    • Vulnerability and needs assessment result,
    • Jurisdictional analysis result,
    • Staff and stakeholder responsibilities,
    • Coordination, response, and reporting protocols,
    • Training requirements and materials available,
    • Available funding resources,
    • Communication and marketing campaigns,
    • Implementation timeline, and
    • Monitoring and evaluation plan;
  • Quality assessment checklist for evaluating the human trafficking action plan;
  • Training material descriptions and resources (including situational scenarios); and
  • Communication templates (e.g., executive summary, newsletters, graphics) for employee and internal/external stakeholder engagement that are culturally sensitive and reflect language diversity.

ACRP is asking proposers to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds ($400,000) and contract time (24 months). 

Proposals must present the proposers’ current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks, and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.

The request for proposals states that the research should include, at a minimum the following interim deliverables:

  • Annotated review and critique of anti-human trafficking resources applicable to airports;
  • Draft primer;
  • Interim report describing work and results to date, including:
    • Draft action plan template and initial description or examples of other tools (including proposed formats) to be included in the toolkit;
    • Guidebook outline; and
    • Revised draft primer.

The research plan should also include, at a minimum, the following checkpoints with the ACRP project panel: (1) kickoff web meeting to be held within 1 month of contract execution to discuss the amplified work plan, (2) web meeting to review the annotated list of resources and draft primer, (3) interim meeting to review the results of the interim report, and (4) an additional conference call/web meeting to be schedule at the project panel’s discretion.

Following receipt of the interim report, there should be 2 months for ACRP review and comments and for the interim meeting.

The final deliverables will include:

  • Primer,
  • Guidebook,
  • Toolkit,
  • Summary of Key Findings,
  • Further Recommended Research Memo, and
  • Technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” 

Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, there should be 3 months for ACRP review and comments and for contractor preparation of the final deliverables.  For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that ACRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services and will pay panel members’ travel costs for the in-person interim meeting.  Proposers should assume that the meeting will be held in Washington, DC.

ACRP adds that proposals should describe the proposer’s initial thoughts on how their research approach will take advantage of existing anti-human trafficking material. Also, while the deliverables’ primary audience is airport operators, they should also recognize other stakeholders as a secondary audience.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due before 4:30 p.m. on 3/17/2020.

Once developed, the plan will be a valuable tool in the United States’ fight against human trafficking. In January, the Department of Transportation announced a series of measures to help thwart human traffickers, which have been well received by the transportation industry with hundreds of industry employers pledging to train more than one million employees.

And some transportation hubs have had a head start. The Port of Seattle announced the implementation of a human trafficking awareness training program for its employees in January. Developed in partnership with Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), the program includes dedicated online training for both maritime and aviation employees as well as in-person training.

Read the full request for proposals here


Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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