Human trafficking is a crime that affects many in the central valley. As a way to put an end to this ongoing issue, officials at Fresno’s Yosemite international airport held a training session to educate its employees on how to identify and assist a victim. Ksee’s 24 Desiree Lopez reports.
Alicia Kozakeiwicz vividly remembers how she became a victim of human trafficking more than 10 years ago.
“He pretended to be my friend and pretended to be a boy that was my age over a period of eight and nine months of talking to this person, he got through,” said Kozakeiwicz.
Now a survivor, Alicia dedicates her time to educating others, and on Monday, she took part in the special human trafficking training at the Fresno airport.
Airport officials teamed up with “Airline Ambassadors International,” a network of airline employees leading the effort to take the issue of human trafficking to the travel industry to teach the warning signals and methods of how to handle a suspected trafficking situation.
“There are so many people that pass through the airport and we have personalities that can serve as eyes and ears to possibly report,” said Vikkie Calderon Fresno airport representative.
This is important because according to a survey by Fresno’s EOC from 2010 to 2017 more than 500 human trafficking victims were identified and rescued in the Central Valley.
“Human trafficking exploded with the internet traffickers don’t have to go up to children,” said Kozakeiwicz.