Not on the Front Lines, but in the Fight – a TMC’s Role in Ending Trafficking

Guest Blog by Andrew Riegler, Director of Marketing at CorpTrav

When you understand ECPAT’s mission “to protect every child’s basic human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking,” it’s an easy decision to support this cause.

Several years ago after learning about ECPAT at a GBTA conference, CorpTrav partnered with ECPAT. When the group returned from the conference and introduced ECPAT to the executive team, there was no doubt – not a single hesitation – this was a cause we needed to support.

Human trafficking and child exploitation is a dark, scary topic. It’s not something we want to think about. As mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, it’s the stuff of literal nightmares. What’s even scarier is that these nightmares aren’t simply reserved for the deep, dark corners of a faraway place. It’s happening right here in the United States. In your state. Maybe even in your neighborhood.

Traffickers often travel by air to move from city to city. They use hotels to conduct their business. We have an audience of frequent business travelers who are on the front lines.

The more educated and trained our employees, occasional business travelers, and road warriors are in identifying the signs, the greater the chance of helping to save someone.

Learning to identify some of the basic red flags takes little more than your lunch break for a time commitment, but could make a lifetime of difference for someone’s child.

I find myself being more aware when traveling, whether at the airport, on the plane or especially in my hotel. Paying a little more attention to your surroundings isn’t hard. Traffickers count on the fact that most people aren’t paying attention and tend to mind their own business.

Ways CorpTrav supports ECPAT and helps spread awareness:

  • Top member status with The Code - an industry-driven initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children

  • ECPAT training is mandatory for every new employee’s onboarding and orientation

  • We include a zero tolerance policy and clause in 100% of our contracts with suppliers

  • We leverage our social platforms to help spread awareness of ECPAT, their mission, and ways our audience can help

  • We partner with clients and the local community to identify opportunities to promote ECPAT

  • CorpTrav’s senior vice president, Mary Batal-Riley actively participates on the board of ECPAT’s TMC Advisory Committee

As one of the largest woman-owned, independent global travel management companies, we have a responsibility to use our voice and influence in the travel industry to help support and spread awareness for ECPAT’s mission. As human beings, we need to join together and put an end to human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.