Latvia’s Riga Airport, the national airline airBaltic, the Ministry of the Interior and non-governmental organizations have signed a memorandum of cooperation committing to actively cooperate in the prevention of human trafficking.
The development of the aviation sector memorandum was initiated by Riga Airport. “Human trafficking is one of the most serious crimes, a gross violation of human rights and human dignity. As the largest airport in the Baltics and the main air traffic hub in the region, we are aware of our important role in preventing it. The Airport has already cooperated with both the responsible state institutions and public organizations that help victims of this crime, an Airport training program also includes the topic of human trafficking; however, such a complex issue, which affects both public authorities, the transport sector and the non-governmental sector, requires systematic cooperation,” says Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport.
The purpose of the memorandum is to promote the prevention of trafficking of human beings and to strengthen cooperation between aviation companies, state institutions and non-governmental organizations in identifying and referring victims 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.
Upon signing the memorandum, Dimitrijs Trofimovs, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, emphasized: “Millions of vulnerable people around the world are being trafficked between continents and countries every year, many of them through airports. While aviation promotes and provides opportunities for people to discover and explore the world, its global network is also being misused by traffickers to move people against their will for exploitation in other countries.”
The cooperation will improve the knowledge and skills of aviation workers to recognize human trafficking, its victims, actions to solve situations, and provide information dissemination activities both at the airport premises, on airBaltic aircraft and on social media.