A flight attendant has described the moment that she saved a young girl from human traffickers after leaving a secret note for her on the plane.

Sheila Fedrick said that her suspicions were roused after she spotted a well-dressed middle aged man travelling with a battered young girl aged around 15 who “looked like she had been through pure hell”.

After trying to speak to the pair and being rebuffed by the man, she left a note for the girl in one of the plane’s toilets.

In reply the girl wrote: “I need help”, she told NBC News.

Ms Fedrick said she immediately informed the pilot about the situation and the flight was met by police at their arrival destination.

She shared her story as part of a training programme run by US non-profit group Airline Ambassadors aimed at helping flight staff to spot human traffickers.

Millions of people are thought to be trafficked every year – including many who are transported on flights.

The AA group has trained thousands of staff in a number of countries to recognise the signs that someone may be being taken against their will.



On Thursday the 19th October at 10am Invisible Traffick Ireland held an Awareness Raising Event in Sligo Town Hall. This event was to celebrate their two year anniversary and coincided with Human Trafficking Awareness Week 2017.

Mary McSharry (IT IRL Director) kicked off the event explaining a little about her work with IT in Sligo. She explained that the main role of IT IRL is to raise awareness and get the public engaging in the issue of human trafficking.

Next, the IT GB Director spoke about her work across the water. She explained that lots of other charities in Great Britian do lots of awareness raising and instead felt what was missing was long term after care for survivors of human trafficking. She then spoke about her work in Tamar House, a safe house set up by IT GB for female survivors of sexual exploitation.

Alison was followed by Edward Keegan (Anti-Trafficking Project Officer for Immigrant Council of Ireland) who spoke about his work in Dublin. He explained the legislation in place in order to keep human trafficking survivors safe by helping them remain in Ireland, and how they ensure survivors are provided with adequate housing.

There was then a question and answer panel including Edward Keegan, Paul Molly (Detective Inspector Garda, Anti-Human Trafficking Unit) and Simeone Barnett (Justice Department Anti Human Trafficking Unit) who answered questions from the audience.

The event was closed by Sligo Mayor who highlighted everyone’s responsibility to fight the issue of human trafficking, whether that is by teaching our children about respect for women, or simply informing others that human trafficking still exists.