The Fight Against Human Trafficking

As Sabre continues its fight against human trafficking, it urges its customers do their part in educating as many travel and tourism professionals as possible, as well as citizens around the world, about this heinous crime so more lives can be saved.

Human trafficking is the third-largest international crime industry, and it is not particular when it  comes to age, color, gender or status. Anyone can become a victim.

Human trafficking primarily involves exploitation that comes in many forms, including forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude, and using victims to create pornography.

Victims are often kidnapped, drugged or tricked before they are taken to other parts of the world where their means of escape are almost non-existent. Since offenders use multiple forms of travel to move their victims, the travel industry should continually educate their employees about human trafficking and train them to spot and report potential offenses to the proper authorities.

The travel industry — an unwilling victim itself — has a responsibility to help keep travelers safe. For this reason, Sabre developed the Passport to Freedom campaign to unite the travel and tourism industries in the fight against human trafficking and bring awareness and education to the forefront so more lives can be saved.

Forced Labor

Human trafficking encompasses numerous crimes, including forcing victims into prostitution and subjecting victims to slavery. According to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, there are an estimated 20.9 million people who are victims of forced labor.

Sabre’s signature corporate responsibility platform helps fight human trafficking and provides support to trafficking survivors. Its mission is to:

  • Educate the travel and tourism industries and travelers,
  • Advocate for legislation change,
  • Collaborate on solutions.

Sabre offers a free online training course for all its employees, as well as for customers and partners throughout the industry. The Passport to Freedom course is designed to increase awareness about human trafficking and how it operates, as well as instruct how to:

  • Identify the warning signs,
  • Respond to and report a potential situation,
  • Support efforts to eliminate the issue.
Millions Of Children Impacted

An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, according to UNICEF. Worldwide, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, at least 6 million children are in forced labor. And the average age of entry into prostitution is 12- to 14-year-old children, as reported by Polaris.


The push for tighter regulation can help educate others on human trafficking signs and put an end to modern day slavery.

In May, U.S. President Barack Obama signed and passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. The Act aims to change the federal criminal code that would make soliciting sex from a trafficking victim a crime, synonymous to sex trafficking itself. The bill includes appropriations, criminal penalty enhancements and other items that aid in fighting human trafficking in America and abroad.

This bill aims for harsher punishment for those who traffic children, while offering support services such as child advocacy centers, state governmental health services, legal and non-governmental organizations and shelter services for victims. The establishment of these services encourages cooperation with law enforcement investigations of crimes of human trafficking by leveraging existing resources and delivering human trafficking victims’ services.

Through partnerships with the State Department and United Nations, Sabre advocates for victim support and tighter regulation through legislation and works with travel companies and non-profit organizations to halt one of the world’s worst crimes.

More Than 35 Million People Enslaved

According to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in history, with an estimated 35.8 million people enslaved in the world.


In addition to working with customers, suppliers, vendors and community members, Sabre is addressing ways to collectively make an impact with other technology and travel industry leaders. In partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Sabre launched an academic scholarship fund for human trafficking victims this year.

Designed to help survivors achieve a post-secondary education, vocational job training or certification, these scholarships help pave the way for secure and stable employment opportunities. Additionally, Sabre works with non-profit agencies that support trafficked victims to provide pro bono legal aid clinics, service projects and awareness campaigns.

Since its inception, the Passport to Freedom campaign has achieved several accomplishments, including:

  • Established the Sabre Passport to Freedom Survivor Scholarship;
  • Participated in the End it Movement’s “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” in India and the “Don’t Look Away” program in Krakow;
  • Earned top member status with End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) International within the first year – an honor bestowed to only 15 of more than 1,200 companies who signed ECPAT’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct;
  • Advocated for U.S. legislation to strengthen laws against human trafficking;
  • Awarded the 2015 ProtectHer Award from New Friends New Life for making a positive difference in the lives of formerly trafficked teens and women.

Once victims are enslaved, they are without a voice or someone to stand up for them. This is what makes it so critical to be educated about human trafficking signs, to advocate for change and to work with others for the best solutions so, as a united front, we can all say, “No, these are people, and they are not for sale.”

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