Private Sector Engagement

MGM Resorts International Strengthens Global Commitment to Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts

The company is now a member of ECPAT-USA's Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism

After years of independent anti-human trafficking activity MGM Resorts has signed ECPAT-USA's Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code), a worldwide network of organizations working to end the sexual exploitation of children. 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 the ECPAT International network, with offices in 95 countries.

MGM Resorts has already implemented several measures against human trafficking, including establishing relevant policies, procedures and practices, as well as educating and training employees.  Joining ECPAT-USA gives renewed focus to these commitments and provides the Company with an additional platform to reinforce its internal efforts with enhanced collaboration and engagement with external partners and resources.

Prominent among MGM's standing anti-human trafficking commitment is its active participation in the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force – an external partnership that convenes government officials, law enforcement, business representatives and community members to address human trafficking.  MGM hosted and sponsored two Task Force conferences in 2013 and 2014 and will repeat this sponsorship again.  Furthermore, MGM actively engages in a nightlife compliance industry group, Z.O.N.E., which promotes best practices to fight the use of the nightclub industry as a venue for human trafficking.

"As a leader in the entertainment and hospitality industry, MGM Resorts has for many years taken a strong stand – as a matter of policy and business practices ‒ against human trafficking as a plague on human society that should not be tolerated in any community," said Phyllis A. James, MGM's Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer. "Our Company has undertaken concrete steps to raise employee awareness, assure that our properties are not used to imperil children or other trafficking victims and support nonprofit organizations involved in combatting this social evil and/or providing victim services."

For example, in 2018 MGM Resorts granted $250,000 to fund three major anti-human trafficking programs led by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University – the launch of a certificate program to train professionals to serve runaway and homeless youth; an education program to equip educators with prevention strategies; and commencement of a new collaboration among business leaders, subject matter experts and government representatives to drive private industry to address forced labor in its supply chain. Moreover, in 2018 The MGM Resorts Foundation donated $30,000 in proceeds from its 2017 Women's Leadership Conference to three local Las Vegas nonprofits dedicated to treatment and rehabilitation services for human trafficking victims – the Rape Crisis Center ($10,000), The Embracing Project ($10,000) and The SEEDS of Hope program sponsored by the Salvation Army ($10,000).

“MGM Resorts International’s anti-trafficking efforts have already proven the company to be a leader in the industry on this issue,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “We look forward to working with MGM Resorts through this new partnership to strengthen and expand the already active role they have taken to protect children around the world.”

Membership in The Code will add MGM's voice to the global community of opponents of child sexual exploitation, and will enhance the Company's access to current research and knowledge, advocacy and best practices aimed at the fundamental goal of ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children and all other human trafficking victims.

VIP Journeys Combats Sex Trafficking With ECPAT-USA And The Code

VIP Journeys has partnered with ECPAT-USA and joined The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) and implemented a policy against child sex trafficking. The Code is an industry-driven initiative to provide awareness, tools, and support to the private sector to help combat the sexual exploitation of children.

VIP Journeys’ policy states a zero-tolerance for child sex trafficking, instructs their associates what to do if they suspect instances of trafficking, and also addresses labor trafficking. VIP Journeys began training their staff to recognize and report suspected instances of trafficking in early 2018.

“Working closely in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and other Latin America countries we have always been compelled to give back to our communities, both locally and globally,” VIP journeys CEO and Co-Founder Michael Eiseman said. “As the eyes and ears of our partner Travel Agents and vendors, we are especially sensitive to the role and responsibility we have and that our travel brands. Human trafficking is an international and multi-billion-dollar market whose proceedings are often unwittingly facilitated by the travel and hospitality industries. As a member of the travel and tourism community, it’s our responsibility to shed light on this global atrocity. VIP Journeys manages luxury travelers and by working with our partners to include child protection language in RFPs and contracts, Tour Operators like VIP journeys can have a major impact on this issue.”

“ECPAT-USA is proud to partner with VIP Journeys to raise awareness and use their influence to combat human trafficking in the travel industry,” said Michelle Guelbart, ECPAT-USA’s Director of Private Sector Engagement. “They’ve hit the ground running and we are excited to continue this partnership in order to increase ECPAT-USA’s reach and protect children globally.”

ECPAT-USA partners with private sector companies in the travel and tourism industries to combat child sexual exploitation. Click here to see a full list of partners who have signed The Code.

ECPAT-USA Launches New Report At AHLA Safety Summit

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 Issues Report On State Human Trafficking Laws For The Lodging Industry

All Materials Required by Each State Available on Web  

Brooklyn, NY (May 1, 2019) - - - To help lodging companies facing different laws about human trafficking in different states, ECPAT-USA, with the financial support of the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (AHLEF), today issued a report detailing what each state requires and providing materials to comply with the laws. The report, “Unpacking Human Trafficking A Survey of State Laws Targeting Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry”, and all necessary materials are now available on the ECPAT-USA website.

 “We know that the hospitality industry is eager to help fight human trafficking, but the many different state laws makes that complicated. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for every company in the hospitality industry to comply with the growing number of state laws by giving them one place to find out what is required in each state and to find the materials they need,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA.

“Human trafficking is a serious, international issue, and our industry, along with others in the travel and tourism industries have an important role to play in combating trafficking networks,” said AHLEF President Rosanna Maietta. “On behalf of the hotel industry and our member companies, AHLEF is committed to working with engaged partners like ECPAT-USA to support and fund research that can bring us closer to help end these heinous crimes.”

In recent years, an increasing number of states have passed laws requiring lodging facilities to display signage calling attention to the problem of human trafficking and alerting the public to the indications of trafficking, the hotline number to report suspicious activity, and services for victims. These laws take various forms and present a sometimes-confusing array of requirements that present a challenge to owners and operators of lodging facilities seeking to satisfy them. 

Similarly, a number of states have enacted legislation requiring lodging facilities to arrange for their employees to be trained to recognize signs of human trafficking and what actions to take in the event that such signs are observed. Other states do not mandate the training but have made it available on a public agency website. Additional states are currently considering similar legislation. Thus, it is safe to predict that the number of states mandating such training will continue to grow.

To help clarify the situation and facilitate legal compliance, ECPAT-USA, with the support of AHLEF, unpacked these laws by preparing a survey of all the applicable state laws currently in effect. The survey will be updated on a semi-annual basis to keep up with the constantly changing laws.

Posters that comply with the various laws, as well as additional resources for hospitality brands, management companies, and properties are available on ECPAT-USA’s website at www.ecpatusa.org/hotel. For states that do not have a human trafficking awareness signage requirement, ECPAT-USA’s Standard Hotel Poster can be utilized.

KEY FINDINGS

13 states have laws mandating human trafficking awareness signage in lodging facilities:

California, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia

7 states have laws mandating human trafficking awareness signage in lodging facilities that have been cited as a public nuisance:

Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

12 states have voluntary human trafficking awareness signage in lodging facilities:

Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin

14 states have penalties for failing to meet the human trafficking awareness signage mandates:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina

4 states have statutes mandating training regarding human trafficking for individuals working in the lodging industry:

California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey

11 states have voluntary training laws for individuals working in the lodging industry:

Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont

In addition to state laws, there are various agency and municipal regulations, which are beyond the scope of this project. Interested parties should contact their local lodging and hotel association, chamber of commerce or governmental agencies familiar with regulations in local jurisdictions.

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ABOUT ECPAT-USA

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 the ECPAT International network, with offices in 95 countries. www.ecpatusa.org

 

ABOUT AHLEF

AHLEF is the hospitality industry’s philanthropic organization, dedicated to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. Created in 1953, AHLEF initially focused on providing scholarships to a small group of promising hospitality students. Since that time, the Foundation has taken on a much greater mandate: ensuring a strong and viable future for the entire lodging industry. Underscoring the industry’s stories of opportunity, growth, and success, AHLEF priorities include scholarships, research and career development programs.


Three Ways Your Company Can Fight Trafficking Today

Companies that acknowledge their role and responsibility in recognizing and preventing child sex trafficking are key to ending exploitation. Since we began working with the hotel and travel industry, we have seen the impact these partnerships have - including protecting countless children. You can use the following three ways to make your company a champion for children today.

1. Through Event Gifts

Now more than ever, customers are seeking responsibly-sourced products that make a difference, and the same should be true when it comes to corporate event gifts. Made at the Regina Center in Thailand, our fair trade keychains not only support our work to end exploitation, they provide income-generating opportunities for women at the center. The project enables women to stay in their villages and keep their children in school, which are two major strategies in reducing sex trafficking.

2. Through Venue Booking RFPs

Companies of all sizes and structures can integrate policies against human trafficking into an already existing human rights policy, adopt the policy on its own, and/or include it in the company’s employee handbook. In addition, large-scale travel purchasing can influence travel companies to take steps to fight human trafficking and child exploitation by including language addressing the issue in Requests For Proposals (RFPs). By making these requirements part of standard travel procurement practice, meetings and travel professionals send the message that child sex trafficking is unacceptable.

3. Through Training

Last January, ECPAT-USA launched a new e-learning to help previously untapped sectors of the travel industry join the fight to end human trafficking. Through the training, travel, and meetings professionals are given the tools to identify and respond to trafficking as well as how to take action with clients and suppliers. Check out the e-learning and free resources for travel professionals on our site today.


Hyatt, American Airlines Announce Major Donation to ECPAT-USA

As part of their Customer Summit this week in Chicago, Hyatt Hotels and American Airlines reaffirmed their commitment to ending child sex trafficking with the announcement of a major donation in support of ECPAT-USA’s work. Additionally, at the three-day event for their top corporate members, the two companies highlighted their private sector partnerships with ECPAT-USA and the impact such partnerships have on the fight to protect every child's right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation.

As corporate partners and members of The Code, both Hyatt and American Airlines have taken concrete steps to prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. ECPAT-USA is excited about the continuing efforts by these companies to train their staff about child trafficking and taking all the steps in their power to protect our most precious resource, our children.

To learn more about how your company can partner with ECPAT-USA, click here.

Meeting Professionals International Commits to Combat Child Sex Trafficking

Signing of The Code to take place via MPI live stream on Global Meetings Industry Day

DALLAS, April 3, 2019 -- Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the world's largest meeting and event industry association, today announced the organization's commitment to combat child sex trafficking through a partnership with ECPAT-USA. As part of a live stream on April 4, 2019, celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), MPI will sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) a travel and tourism industry-driven initiative that seeks to provide awareness, tools, and support to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

A joint venture between the private sector and ECPAT-USA, The Code is a voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent the trafficking of children. As part of the commitment, ECPAT-USA will provide tools that will help MPI raise awareness of the issue and stop child sex trafficking. 

"Meeting and event professionals are in a unique position to raise awareness of and prevent child sex trafficking," said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. "We're excited to see a globally recognized organization like Meeting Professionals International take a leadership role on this issue. Through this partnership with MPI, we will be able to expand the fight to end exploitation to thousands of individuals in over a dozen countries around the world."

The signing of The Code on GMID will be led by CEO and President, Paul Van Deventer, VP of People and Performance, Diane Hawkins and COO, Darren Temple. In 2017, MPI committed to join the fight to stop human trafficking, with a focus on ending the sexual exploitation of children. Over the past 18 months, working closely with organizations such as ECPAT and Sisters of Charity, and by engaging the community through monthly articles in MPI's publications, providing training to volunteer leaders, and offering educational programming, MPI has made a concerted effort to raise awareness of this crime, while also instructing on specific actions to prevent it.

"As a leader in the meetings and events industry, MPI assumes great responsibility to raising awareness about the human sex trafficking epidemic and advocating with our partners to take action against it," said Paul Van Deventer, MPI president, and CEO. "The travel industry is a target for human traffickers and by educating the meetings and events industry about signs to look for, we hope to prevent potential abuse and keep children safe."

GMID brings together leaders from across the meetings and events industry to showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions have on people, businesses and communities.

Five Ways You Can End Human Trafficking On Global Meetings Industry Day

On April 4, meetings professionals across the world will gather to showcase the impact the industry has on people, businesses and the economy on Global Meetings Industry Day. On this international day of advocacy, the meetings industry is also recognizing the unique role its associates play in the ending human trafficking. Chapters across the country are raising awareness of the issue and highlight how we can work together to protect children from exploitation.

Register for one of the events below to join the fight! We’re also making a special announcement on #GMID. Check our site on April 4th or learn more live at the events in NYC or Philadelphia!

In New York City

Global Meeting Industry Day Education & Engagement Event

Join SITE Northeast, Meeting Professionals International and PCMA NYC chapters in a special education and engagement presentation on Global Meetings Industry Day in conjunction with ECPAT-USA. You'll hear from speakers Carol Smolenski, Shanifa Bennett, Robin Carter, Jessica Schultz and David Peckinpaugh on how you and your company can fight the global issue of human trafficking.

Register here.

In the Bay Area

GMID Networking Event Benefiting ECPAT-USA

Join leaders from across the meetings and events industry at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square to showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.

Register here.

In Philadelphia

Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry

Join PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter & MPI PHL at a special session shedding some light on the problem of human trafficking and how those in the hospitality industry can increase awareness of the issue. ECPAT-USA will be speaking alongside Hilton, Philadelphia CVB, Covenant House PA, and FBI.

Register here.

In Miami

Global Meetings Industry Day Benefiting ECPAT-USA

Join Site Florida & Caribbean for a global day of advocacy. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the industry’s enduring business value and its $2.65 trillion in global economic impact.

Register here.

Anywhere Online

Last January, ECPAT-USA launched a new e-learning to help previously untapped sectors of the travel industry - including the meetings industry - join the fight to end human trafficking. Through the training, meetings professionals are given the tools to identify and respond to trafficking as well as how to take action with clients and suppliers. The e-learning and free resources for travel professionals are available anytime online.  

Atlas Travel Announces New Partnership With ECPAT-USA

(MARLBOROUGH MA) - Atlas Travel is proud to announce its partnership with ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Human trafficking is an international and multi-billion dollar market whose proceedings are often unwittingly facilitated by the travel and hospitality industries. As a member of the travel and tourism community, it’s our responsibility to shed light on this global atrocity.

“We are proud of our ongoing commitment to our local communities and continually strive to set the standard for corporate contributions towards the betterment of society,” says founder and CEO Elaine Osgood. “We’ve spent considerable time and resources translating our long-standing culture of community empowerment into a foundational business pillar. We are honored and excited that these efforts have led to becoming the first New England-based travel management company to join ECPAT-USA in fighting global injustices against children.”  

In addition to partnering with ECPAT-USA, Atlas Travel has also become a member of the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. The Code is the world’s first and only voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. The Code provides members with support and resources to raise awareness; in turn, members commit to implementing six essential measures:

  • Establish policies and procedures against human trafficking and child exploitation

  • Train employees on said policies and procedures

  • Include a contract clause for business partners, including RFPs

  • Provide information to travelers

  • Support, collaborate & engage stakeholders

  • Report annually on initiatives

“Companies that recognize their role and responsibility in recognizing and preventing child sex trafficking are a key in ending exploitation,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA.“We are excited to welcome Atlas Travel to The Code and as a new partner in helping us protect children.”

With these core measures in place, our work throughout the year will expand upon these commitments, especially raising both industry-wide and public awareness. We hope these efforts curb trafficking not only internationally, but domestically as well: human trafficking occurs in all 50 states, in cities and rural communities alike.


About Atlas Travel

Headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts, Atlas Travel offers corporate travel, vacation planning, and meetings and incentives services. For over thirty years, Atlas Travel has been providing easier travel and better management to companies around the globe. Through a wholly-owned UK division and affiliation with BCD Travel, Atlas Travel offers global travel programs to more than 110 countries. Atlas Travel is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), as well as a distinguished member of the Inc. 5000 list.

About ECPAT-USA

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. For more than 25 years, ECPAT-USA has been leading the charge to prevent child trafficking before it happens. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 95 countries. For more information on ECPAT-USA, visit ecpatusa.org; for specific details on The Code, please visit ecpatusa.org/Code.