The UK’s Modern Slavery Act came into force in 2015. On this page, we explain the activities undertaken by the International Air Transport Association (IATA or the Association) in complying with its obligations under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.
IATA is committed to leading the airline industry in playing its part to help combat slavery and human trafficking, as detailed below. The Association is also committed to improving its internal processes to ensure that both the organization and its supply chain include no trace of slavery or human trafficking.
IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 300 airlines that comprise 83% of total air traffic. The Association supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. IATA’s mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry.
IATA was established in 1945, by a special Act of the Canadian Parliament. The Association is headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with subsidiaries, branch and representative offices disbursed throughout the world.
The IATA Board of Governors exercises an oversight and executive role, including the general management and control of the business, affairs, funds, and property of IATA, on behalf of the membership as a whole.
IATA’s Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council (SEAC) acts as an advisor to the Board and IATA management on matters related to corporate sustainability. In consultation with SEAC, IATA has raised awareness about the UK Modern Slavery Act amongst IATA members.
IATA’s People, Performance and Development (PPD) department has undertaken a review of its human resource policies and determined that additional anti-modern slavery provisions are not currently required. PPD will conduct periodic reviews to determine if there is a need in the future to strengthen human rights policies and procedures.
Our supply chains
As a trade association with offices and operations spanning the globe, the majority of IATA’s supply chain comprises the following services: office facilities management; consulting; IT; and data processing. Although IATA has no reason to believe that there is a high risk of modern slavery and human trafficking within the organization’s supply chain, there are policies and procedures in place that will be adapted and strengthened if necessary. Also, IATA has incorporated anti-slavery clauses into its supplier contracts that will be used going forward to minimize the risk of slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain.
Our work to combat human trafficking in the air transport sector
An IATA Resolution denouncing human trafficking was passed at IATA’s 74th Annual General Meeting in Sydney in June 2018. The Resolution reaffirms airlines' commitment to support governments and law enforcement to prevent human trafficking through awareness raising, staff training and reporting suspicious behavior.
IATA has also started a campaign titled #Eyesopen, which is designed to raise awareness among passengers, airlines and governments, of the crime of human trafficking. Through a variety of materials, including an animated film that demonstrates how traffickers misuse aviation, the campaign is designed to show how aviation staff on the front-line can play their part in helping to combat human trafficking.
IATA is committed to leading the airline industry in playing its part to help combat slavery and human trafficking. In addition to working with our member airlines to increase staff and passenger awareness, IATA has called on governments and their enforcement agencies to provide clear, practical, and discrete mechanisms for airline staff so they can report potential trafficking situations. To that end, IATA worked as part of a working group organized by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop Circular 357 “Guidelines for Reporting Trafficking in Persons by Flight and Cabin Crew” aimed at governments, civil aviation authorities and aviation stakeholders which was published in early 2021.
IATA is also a member of the newly formed ICAO Ad Hoc Working Group on Combatting Trafficking in Supply Chain (AHWG-TSP), an international, joint industry-regulatory group composed of experts from states, air operators and international organizations. The AHWG-TSP serves as an expert group, providing advice to ICAO assisting in the development of guidance material on combatting trafficking in persons in an air operator’s supply chain.
IATA is also working with airports and other stakeholders within the air transport sector to raise awareness on human trafficking and share its guidance material, including its ‘recognize and report' practice.
Find out more about IATA's activities against Human Trafficking
This statement is made pursuant to section 54 of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 and has been approved by the IATA Board of Governors and endorsed by IATA's Director General. This statement constitutes IATA’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending December 2023.