As a response to human trafficking in our province, the Alberta RCMP Federal Policing Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET), the Alberta RCMP Serious Crimes Branch, and the Action Coalition on Trafficking (ACT) Alberta have partnered together to develop a specialized training program at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA). Launched in Jan. 2021, the program aims to teach law enforcement and airport staff how to identify and take action against human trafficking activity as it travels in and out of the province.
Under the Criminal Code, human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or harbouring of persons, or the control of their movements, for exploitation. Due to its transient nature, trafficking often moves and extends beyond provincial borders or boundaries – this is why it is critical that human trafficking awareness training be provided to frontline members and staff at one of Alberta's largest ports of entry.
RCMP detachment members, as well as EIA security and staff, will be trained to detect potential trafficking activity and learn intervention protocols. Trainees will also be given the tools necessary to handle victim encounters in a safe and sensitive manner. The program's goal was to train a total of 200 employees by April 2021. The program has surpassed that goal as currently over 300 employees have been trained with additional sessions still planned.
"IBET's mandate is to enhance border integrity and security between designated ports of entry by identifying, investigating, and interdicting persons, organizations, and goods that are involved in criminal activities. We are proud to participate in an initiative that brings awareness to human trafficking and the ways in which it can be prevented from coming into Alberta and harming the communities we serve."
- Insp. Bryan Long, Officer in Charge, Federal Serious and Organized Crime – IBET North
"Trafficking and exploitation are criminal violations of human rights that often target the most vulnerable in our communities. Human trafficking is a widespread issue across Canada – Alberta being no exception. The Alberta RCMP is pleased to partner with ACT Alberta in collaboration with the Edmonton International Airport to address this serious crime type."
- Cst. Kristin Appleton, Alberta RCMP, Serious Crimes Branch - Missing Persons Unit
"Human trafficking is happening in Alberta and it's coming through our airports. As the eyes and ears of air travel, it's critical that airport staff, security, and law enforcement have a streamlined response when instances of human trafficking are suspected. Staff will hear survivor perspectives, learn how the crime impacts air travel, and ultimately take away actions to prevent and disrupt trafficking through transportation systems at the EIA."
- Jessica Brandon, Interim Executive Director, Education and Training Lead, ACT Alberta
"We strongly support and are committed to participate in this program aimed at identifying and stopping human trafficking. Safety and security is our top priority and anything we can do as an airport community, we will do."
- Steve Maybee, Vice-President Operations and Infrastructure, EIA