ECPAT-USA was excited to participate in the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s annual Safety Summit in Washington, D.C. this week as part of the organization’s continuing efforts to make fighting human trafficking a top priority. Along with Polaris, ECPAT-USA spoke about the issue, the importance of training, and concrete steps the travel industry can take to protect children from exploitation.
Additionally, ECPAT-USA debuted their new “Unpacking Human Trafficking” report at the Summit. Financially supported by the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Foundation, the report is a survey of human trafficking signage and training laws across all 50 states. The publication is meant to help clarify laws and facilitate compliance for lodging facilities as an increasing number of states have passed laws requiring lodging facilities to combat human trafficking.
To learn more about how your company can partner with ECPAT-USA, click here.
ECPAT-USA Offering New Resources to Help Hotels Fight Trafficking of Children
ECPAT-USA and American Hotel & Lodging Association Build on Partnership to Distribute New Materials for Hotels
Brooklyn, NY (May 24, 2018) — Hotels have new resources to help associates identify and prevent human trafficking and child exploitation, ECPAT-USA announced today. Hotels can download the following materials for free from ECPAT-USA’s website:
Informative back-of-house posters to remind staff about the signs of human trafficking and how to respond if they see suspicious activity.
Position-specific indicator palm cards to share with associates so they have fast access to the signs and swiftly follow hotel protocols for responding to cases.
Public area (front-of-house) posters that meet several state laws, which require hotels to post signage about human trafficking that includes the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
ECPAT-USA has a long history of working with the hotel industry. Most major hotel brands have signed the ECPAT Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code). The Code is an industry-driven set of initiatives travel companies can implement to prevent child sex trafficking and exploitation. Code companies commit to training their staff to recognize when someone might be a victim.
“Children are identified as victims of trafficking at hotels across the country, putting hotel employees in a unique position to identify trafficking and take action to help victims,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “From check-in to check-out, there are a number of indicators victims and traffickers exhibit during the time they're on a hotel property. With proper training, a front desk agent or a housekeeper can notice that something is not right and respond.”
“AHLA and the hotel industry take the issue of human trafficking very seriously, and we recognize the important role hotels can play in helping to fight it,” said Craig Kalkut, Vice President of Government Affairs at AHLA. “AHLA and its members are focused on raising awareness within the industry, training employees, and supporting non-profit organizations and law enforcement in their efforts to combat these terrible crimes. ECPAT-USA has been a valuable partner in these efforts, and we appreciate everything they are doing to put an end to these heinous crimes.”
These newly available resources add to ECPAT-USA’s growing collection of tools for hotels. Notably, ECPAT-USA offers a training program for hotel associates developed in partnership with the hotel industry, which is distributed by American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, and is already used globally by hotel brands.
ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 90 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. For more information, visit ecpatusa.org.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry, and has long worked to combat human trafficking. As part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness and facilitate training in the industry, AHLA has conducted webinars for members, issued industry principles on human trafficking, hosted a variety of trafficking experts to speak at its meetings and conferences, endorsed legislation, taken part in panels discussions organized by law enforcement and other stakeholders, and partnered with organizations like ECPAT-USA.
ECPAT-USA, the country’s leading anti-child trafficking policy organization, announced a new partnership with global hospitality company Marriott International to combat and prevent human trafficking and exploitation in all forms. Marking National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Marriott International signed ECPAT-USA’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code), an industry-driven responsible tourism initiative with a mission to provide awareness, tools, and support to the travel and hospitality industry in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
Marriott Rewards Members Can Now Give Points to Support ECPAT-USA
CUSTOMERS CAN JOIN IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN
Members of the Marriott Rewards loyalty program will have the option to donate their points to ECPAT-USA to support the organization’s work in fighting the sexual exploitation of children and sex tourism around the world. ECPAT-USA will be featured on Giving.MarriottRewards.com, scheduled to launch on December 11th, which allows loyalty members to donate their points to select organizations reflective of the company’s recently launched sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction. The platform includes a new goal of training 100% of its people to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
“Hotels are critical partners in ending child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “We’re very grateful to Marriott for helping us turn our expertise into training for hotel employees so they can identify and take action against sex trafficking. And now we thank Marriott for giving their guests the opportunity to support ECPAT as part of their ongoing commitment to human rights and social responsibility.”
“Building off our 2007 Sustainability goals, Marriott is proud to issue our next generation of goals, inclusive of social and human rights targets to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Tricia Primrose, Global Chief Communications Officer at Marriott International and Serve 360 Executive Leadership Council Co-Chair. “Associates and customers want to work for and do business with a company that aligns with their values and drives positive community impact. We are proud to be part of the solution.”
ABOUT MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
Marriott International, Inc. is a leading global lodging company with more than 6,400 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 126 countries and territories. Founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott and guided by family leadership for over 90 years, Marriott embraces its global responsibility and unique opportunity to be a force for good. Guided by their 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Marriott commits to creating positive and sustainable impact wherever they do business.
ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in 88 countries working together to protect every child’s basic human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking.
ECPAT-USA’s mission is to protect every child’s basic human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking. We envision a world in which no child is bought, sold, or used for sex. More than 25 years ago, ECPAT-USA became the first U.S.-based nonprofit to work on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT-USA started with sex tourism, helping to get legislation passed that ensured that Americans who traveled abroad to buy sex with minors could be prosecuted in the US for sexually exploiting children in other countries. Six of the ten largest international hotel chains—including Hilton, Wyndham and Hyatt--have signed on to ECPAT’s program to prevent sex tourism, as have Delta and American Airlines.
In September we released No Vacancy for Child Sex Traffickers, an impact report about the results of ECPAT-USA’s work to prevent and disrupt the commercial sexual exploitation of children in hotels. Since the release we’ve authored a series of blogs providing information to people in different sectors about how they can combat child sex trafficking.
The series includes:
Is There Really No Vacancy for Child Sex Traffickers? This blog explains why the No Vacancy report is necessary and provides an introduction to the report. As this blog says, No Vacancy for Sex Traffickers reveals how many hotels in the United States train their associates to recognize and respond to child sex trafficking, where sex trafficking training is coming from, and more.
How You Can Fight Child Sex Trafficking on Your Next Trip This blog speaks to travelers, and provides practical steps you can take to join the fight against child sex trafficking. From traveling responsibly to asking your favorite hotel to join the Code, travelers can help keep children safe.
How Hotels Can Fight Trafficking This blog speaks to people working in the hotel industry. This blog outlines steps all hotels must take to protect children, such as adopting policies and related to the sexual exploitation of children, having resources available to properties, and mandating that associates working in all hotel properties—whether they are franchised or owned—have training.
What Governments Can Do to Combat Child Sex Trafficking This blog discusses what steps governments must take to protect the children in their communities. These steps include passing laws that require hotels to train their associates on child sexual exploitation, with consultation and resources from groups already working on the issue, and passing transparency legislation that includes child sexual exploitation language.
How the Meetings and Events Industry Can Help Stop Child Sex Trafficking This blog is for people working in the meetings and events industry. It offers information about how meetings and events professionals can persuade both travel suppliers (hotels, airlines, etc.) and corporate travel managers to implement policies and programs to protect children.
In a recent article, the New York Times published an AP report that Motel 6 has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a human trafficking lawsuit in Los Angeles. The suit, brought by Los Angeles against a Motel 6 property’s managers and G6 Hospitality Property LLC., which operates all Motel 6 properties, centered around allegations that human traffickers, drug dealers, and gang members were operating out of a Motel 6 property in L.A.’s Sylmar neighborhood.
Los Angeles police had made more than 60 arrests for prostitution, battery, firearms possession and drug related charges at the property since 2013, according to the article.
The report lists instances cited in the lawsuit when undercover police officers collected evidence of criminal activities at the property, such as an instance when hotel staff “didn’t hesitate” to rent a room to an undercover officer posing as a pimp, who told the workers he intended for another undercover officer to work as a prostitute there.
The money from the settlement will be used to deter human trafficking, according to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
"Our settlement commits Motel 6 to comprehensive, concrete action that's focused on security at the site and strong management at the site," Feuer said.
The motel will require valid photo identification from guests, hire security guards, and post signs in the lobby about human trafficking as part of the settlement, according to the article. For a full list of safety measures a hotel can take to prevent and respond to human trafficking and child exploitation, check out ECPAT-USA’s Hotel Safety Checklist.
Los Angeles police will also have access to the motel’s guest list and visitor logs, and the motel will also give officers access to remotely monitor the motel's security cameras.
Anti-trafficking training for hotel associates can prevent situations like this, and must be a part of the response to cases of human trafficking in hotel and motel properties. Since 2004, ECPAT-USA has worked with hotel brands around the United States to train associates to recognize and appropriately respond to suspected instances of trafficking. Training not only helps to stop traffickers and protect victims; it also protects hotels from the kind of liability Motel 6 is dealing with.
Learn more about training for hotels, and what travellers can do to encourage hotels to provide training on ECPAT-USA’s Responsible Traveler page.