Unfortunately, human trafficking exists. While we all hope that we will never become victims and that our children will never become victims, that doesn’t change the fact that about 1000 people every year become victims of human trafficking.

Sometimes, the criminals force their victims to travel to a different country which often means that they will have to travel through airports.

We may complain about airport security. We don’t actually like taking our shoes off and dumping the water out of our water bottles before going through security checkpoints. However, there are hidden benefits to security measures at airports. It’s not just helpful for catching someone who might have a shoe bomb. It could help someone escape from human trafficking.

If you or someone you know ever becomes a victim of human trafficking and needs to discreetly escape, all you need is a metal spoon. Put the metal spoon in your underwear, and when you go through security at the airport, the metal will be picked up by the scanner.

Some airports train their security workers to look for metal spoons and to discreetly ask the travelers if they are ok. Even if that is not the case at the particular airport the victim is traveling through, any metal will set off the metal detector and prompt security to take the person aside. This gives the person the opportunity to talk to security or airport police privately and escape a bad situation like a forced marriage or child abuse.

Karma Nirvana is a charity in the UK that invented the metal spoon technique. It all started 9 years ago when a woman called and talked to one of their call handlers. The woman was worried about being taken oversees for a forced marriage, and the call handler told the woman to put a metal spoon in her underwear.

One person shared on Twitter that anything metal would work, but some airport security personal know what a metal spoon means. Another Twitter user who works at an airport shared that she didn’t know about the metal spoon technique until one day after lunch when this Twitter user forgot there was a metal spoon in her pocket. While going through security, she was pulled aside and asked if she was ok.

The downside is that if this metal spoon technique becomes more and more widely known, criminals are likely to make sure their victims don’t have any hidden objects in their clothing. In the meantime, this clever technique could save many lives.