Today, Fox World Travel joined the fight against human trafficking by signing ECPAT-USA’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) during its participation at the GBTA Conference in Chicago. Signing “The Code”, a set of business principles travel and tourism companies implement to specifically combat child sex trafficking, symbolizes Fox World Travel’s commitment to helping raise awareness of human trafficking and child sex trafficking throughout the travel and tourism industry.
“We are honored to Soar Together with ECPAT-USA to bring awareness of human trafficking to our Fox Family members, partners and travelers,” said Chip Juedes, Fox World Travel CEO. “Our partnership with ECPAT-USA gives us the ability to take an active role in the education of this important issue, hopefully leading to the safety of many innocent children.”
Fox World 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 by raising awareness, advocating for victims, and pushing for policy and legislative changes to protect them. As a leader in both the global consumer and business travel industry, Fox World Travel is positioned to provide a unique opportunity to help.
Human trafficking is an international and multi-billion-dollar market whose proceedings are often unwittingly facilitated by the travel and hospitality industries. The United Nations’ International Labour Organization estimates that more than 40 million people around the world are trapped in modern-day exploitation. Traffickers often use air travel to transport victims and use hotels as venues to abuse them.
“Here at Fox, we are committed to doing our part in bettering society. We believe it is our duty not only as members of the travel industry, but simply as human beings, to fight global injustices against children by joining ECPAT-USA in their mission,” said Juedes.
In addition to partnering with ECPAT-USA, Fox World 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 requests for proposals
Provide information to travelers
Support, collaborate & engage stakeholders
Report annually on initiatives
“We are excited to partner with Fox World Travel and welcome them as the newest member of The Code,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “Through committing to train associates and establish policies to prevent child sex trafficking, Fox World Travel is taking concrete steps to protect children around the world from exploitation.” With these core measures in place, our work throughout the year will expand upon these commitments, especially raising both industry-wide and public awareness.
DALLAS – JULY 30, 2019 – G6 Hospitality LLC, the parent company of Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands in the United States and Canada, today announced a partnership to help combat commercial sexual exploitation of children by signing ECPAT's Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code). The announcement comes on a day designated by the United Nations as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The Code is a joint venture of the tourism and hospitality sectors and ECPAT-USA, a leader in advocacy and efforts to shape policy designed to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Built upon a set of shared business principles that travel-related organizations put in place to prevent human trafficking and exploitation, The Code establishes a framework for companies to provide training, education, and collaboration with other stakeholders.
“ECPAT-USA is proud to welcome G6 Hospitality as our newest corporate partner and member of The Code,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “As a leader in the economy lodging space, G6 Hospitality will bring an important perspective to our work to end child exploitation and sex trafficking.”
In addition to its partnership with ECPAT-USA, G6 Hospitality requires trafficking awareness and prevention training of all team members at all locations, both owned and franchised. The company also mandates human trafficking prevention training developed by the non-profit Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) and sponsored by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). This training teaches team members how to recognize and report human trafficking.
“When hotel employees are trained to recognize and report potential human trafficking situations, it can make all the difference in the life of someone who is being trafficked,” said Mar Brettmann, PhD, executive director for BEST. “Our training clearly explains the risks and indicators of human trafficking, and how hotel employees can report incidents to managers.”
G6 Hospitality teams regularly assess properties to ensure safety and security measures are in place and training is completed and takes action, up to and including terminating contracts or closing locations, as appropriate. The company is an active member of American Hotel and Lodging Association and its industry-wide No Room for Trafficking campaign.
“Organizations in the travel industry are often on the front lines of this deeply troubling issue. Our partnerships with ECPAT-USA and others are critically important as we come together to fight back against trafficking and exploitation in all its forms,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of G6 Hospitality.
Members of The Code include more than 40 of the world’s leading travel, tourism, and hospitality businesses. To learn more, visit www.TheCode.org.
About G6 Hospitality
G6 Hospitality LLC owns, operates, and franchises more than 1,400 economy lodging locations under the Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands in the United States and Canada and the Hotel 6 brand in India. Having opened its 1,000th franchise location in 2018, G6 also has plans to franchise the Hotel 6 and Estudio 6 brands in Central America. Headquartered in Dallas (Carrollton), Texas, G6 Hospitality recently placed 73rd in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 40th Annual Franchising 500. The company has also been named a “Best for Vets” employer by Military Times and in 2018 was inducted into the Military Spouses Employment Partnership sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. For more information, please visit www.g6hospitality.com.
ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking 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 more than 90 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children. For more information, visit www.ecpatusa.org.
About The Code
The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, known as The Code, is the world's first and only voluntary set of business principles that travel companies can implement to prevent child trafficking. The Code provides awareness, tools, and support to travel companies, with the aim of creating a highly aware and well-trained tourism industry that can recognize and prevent potential abuse. Since its launch in 2004, more than 40 US companies have joined The Code, including some of the world's most notable airlines, hotels, and travel management companies. To learn more, visit www.ecpatusa.org/code.
About Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST)
Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization with the mission to align and equip leaders to use the power of business to prevent human trafficking. BEST is the first organization in the country dedicated entirely to working with businesses to disrupt human trafficking. BEST has provided consultation and training to hundreds of businesses on how to prevent human trafficking, and they have trained thousands of hotel employees in how to protect their hotel from human trafficking. For more information, visit www.bestalliance.org.
In honor of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation is excited to announce the release of new prevention and awareness materials created in collaboration with Marriott International, Polaris Project, and A21 Campaign. The new posters, available publicly to any company, group, or individual, can be downloaded for free here.
A number of states have passed laws mandating the posting of human trafficking related signage in hotels and other establishments. Our recent report, Unpacking Human Trafficking, surveyed state law requirements and can help you determine what regulations are in your state. Hotels in states that are not legally mandated to post signage are encouraged to do so voluntarily. ECPAT-USA promotes awareness messaging in businesses trying to take proactive steps to protect children from sexual exploitation.
These new materials are available in a variety of colors and designs and include indicators of both sex and labor trafficking, as well as information about the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Downloading and displaying these resources is an easy way to get involved in the movement and actively participate in World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
These posters are just the latest additions to our extensive collection of publicly available anti-trafficking materials. For additional hotel-specific tools, click here.
20BY20 is an unprecedented partnership with the events industry to combat exploitation worldwide through prevention and response
ECPAT-USA, in conjunction with the United Nations’ World Day Against Human Trafficking in Persons, is launching a landmark global initiative to train 20,000 events industry professionals by July 2020.
To help build a future where this crime does not exist, leading organizations are pledging to proactively encourage their members, partners, and staff to become part of this global effort. ECPAT-USA is pleased to announce its founding class of Business Events Champions includes CorpTrav, CWT, IAEE, IMEX Group, and PCMA.
Human traffickers use travel industry infrastructure (hotels and airlines) to exploit and transport their victims and can leverage large-scale events to find customers. ECPAT-USA’s 25-minute online training program for business events and travel professionals, Preventing & Responding To Human Trafficking And The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children, is designed to teach them what to look for and how to respond to suspected instances of trafficking. It is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
“We are at a critical juncture in ECPAT-USA’s goal to end child sex trafficking and exploitation,” says Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement for the organization. “To have the business events industry become a unified part of the fight against this international scourge by championing education is essential to achieving this vision.”
To see the full list of participating organizations, join the cause, or find out more about how industry professionals can become a meaningful part of the solution see www.ecpatusa.org/20by20. The campaign will feature ongoing digital and community promotions, media initiatives, and progress updates. To show your support today, join the force of Business Events Protectors at #BEProtectors and follow our progress at #20BY20.
In this series, Nicole Phocas and Ashley Solle reflect on their endeavors during their time as private sector engagement interns at ECPAT-USA
Last week, End Violence Against Children invited ECPAT-USA to attend a panel event titled “Investing in AI to Make Children Safe Online” to inform industry representatives from a range of public, private, and nonprofit sector organizations on recent technological advances toward fighting issues of child abuse, cyberbullying, and child sexual exploitation and trafficking. After a light lunch and time to network with the attendees, we took our seats to hear what the four panelists had to say.
The first of the panel’s presenters was Emily Cashman Kirstein, Senior Manager of Government Affairs at Thorn. Thorn’s mission is to eliminate child sexual abuse material from the internet; Kirstein explained how there is a massive rise in cases of child sexual exploitation and abuse in the new internet age, illustrating the importance of focusing on technology. She brought up a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) index on child sexual abuse and exploitation by country, which was developed in collaboration with Thorn to provide researchers and the public with valuable information on how countries are combatting child exploitation issues. Interestingly, the scoring of countries was influenced in part by ECPAT-USA’s The Code.
Of course, just because a child has been liberated from a particular sexual abuse situation does not mean that online imagery of the survivor has been removed. To address the difficulty of locating every platform and location where child sexual abuse imagery might have been shared or posted, Thorn is working on a victim identification software for law enforcement agencies. By creating facial recognition software, Thorn can locate and (ideally) remove the material and protect the survivor. Thorn is also working on research and development, including efforts to make platforms more hostile to abusers and using technology to locate offenders. We found these efforts to integrate technology into the fight, from the index to facial recognition software, to be incredibly fascinating and innovative. We don’t doubt that they’ll be a useful addition to law enforcement as well as victim protection and research on trafficking
Chris Fabian, another panelist, discussed the current work of UNICEF Ventures and UN Innovation Network. The goal of UNICEF Ventures is to make investments into technological initiatives around the world which progress the organization’s goals surrounding the protection, empowerment, and defense of children. UNICEF Ventures is focused on creating an AI program that can conduct data analysis for regions where data is scarce, usually developing countries. There wasn’t a direct link to our focus areas, but his comments on collecting data from local sources highlight the need for accurate and sustainable numbers in order to conduct research on the most efficient ways to fight child sexual exploitation. Unfortunately for now, advanced technological infrastructure is only readily available in the developed world, so the scope of combating sexual exploitation of children through AI is limited to this region.
Dr. Rhema Vaithaianathan, Co-Director of the Center for Social Data Analytics at Auckland University of Technology and Project Lead on an international research effort to create Child Abuse Predictive Risk Analysis software followed Fabian’s discussion on AI programs by discussing her efforts and the challenges she has been facing in the development of algorithms. Most notably, Vaithianathan and her research team have been running into issues in facial recognition software developing unfair biases when determining the risk that a certain child may face for abuse. The technical details of the issue are complex, but the problem also highlights that child sexual exploitation and abuse can happen anywhere to any child from any background.
The final panelist is Suvi Uski, CEO at Someturva, a Finland-based start-up which has created an AI-powered online legal service for cyberbullying and social media harassment issues. Uski, whose background in social psychology gives her a unique perspective on a topic that is often strictly scientific, emphasized that AI is critical in the nonprofit sector for reaching a larger number of at-risk people with fewer monetary resources.
Technology plays a large role in enabling sexual exploitation of children, but can also be pivotal in the prevention and prosecution of sexual exploitation of children. Including AI in multidisciplinary approach to combating the issue is a critical step in adapting to the rise in cases involving the internet.
‘No Room for Trafficking’ Aims to Train Every Employee in the Industry
WASHINGTON (June 26, 2019) – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today launched a new national campaign to unite the industry around a single, comprehensive approach to fight human trafficking. The No Room for Trafficking campaign builds on the hotel industry’s long-standing legacy and commitment to combat human trafficking. Already each year, thousands of hotel employees are trained. With this campaign, AHLA builds on the industry’s record by convening the entire industry with the goal of training every hotel worker.
“No Room for Trafficking sends a loud and clear message: we will not tolerate human trafficking in the hotel industry,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “Thanks to our dedicated associates, our industry already has a strong record of combatting trafficking and supporting survivors. There is still much more to do, and our commitment to training and education will continue to make a difference.”
The hotel industry has long recognized the critical role it plays in ending the scourge of human trafficking, and through innovative techniques and employee training has played an instrumental role in identifying, reporting and stopping instances of human trafficking.
AHLA kicked-off the campaign at a strategic roundtable today bringing together industry leaders, government partners, law enforcement and national trafficking prevention partners to underscore the industry’s efforts around human trafficking.
Since trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses—many in the tourism supply chain—to sustain their illicit and illegal operations, hoteliers are uniquely positioned to identify and disrupt this terrible practice. Hoteliers can play an important role in combatting trafficking through raising awareness, improved coordination with law enforcement, and ongoing workforce training.
The No Room for Trafficking campaign outlines four core pillars to bring the hotel industry together and build upon current efforts:
Elevate issue awareness through increased education, resources and training for all hotel employees;
Assess protocols, procedures, and technologies to confirm training effectiveness and employee vigilance;
Educate by developing strategic intervention and disruption strategies to identify and report suspected trafficking situations;
Support by furthering partnerships with leading national human trafficking and law enforcement organizations to establish industry standards and support survivors
As part of the campaign, AHLA is providing new resources and materials for members, including the following:
Action Plan for hoteliers to implement that includes training staff on what to look for and how to respond; displaying human trafficking indicator signage; establishing a companywide policy; ongoing coordination with law enforcement; and sharing success stories and best practices.
Companywide anti-trafficking policy template for members who may not already have a policy in place that incorporates key elements and recommendations from AHLA partners ECPAT-USA and Polaris.
Strategic partnerships with leading national prevention partners including ECPAT-USA, Polaris, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), SafeHouse Project, the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and many others.
Member Resource Guide that provides information on ways to implement the AHLA action plan, including where to access employee training and partner resources, downloadable signage, strategies to connect with law enforcement, ways to report instances of trafficking and how hotels can support survivors.
In addition, AHLA in partnership with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), will host a series of regional events throughout the year leading up to Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January, to raise public awareness and facilitate collaboration with policymakers, law enforcement and hoteliers on best practices for policies, procedures and training to enhance our human trafficking prevention efforts.
On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, 2019, AHLA will launch a Member Day of Action, providing a social media platform for hoteliers across the country to showcase their participation in the No Room for Trafficking campaign by hosting employee training seminars, pledging to complete the AHLA Action Plan, and collaborating with national prevention partners to and helping to raise awareness.
“As the leading organization partnering with legislators and the corporate community to end exploitation, we are proud to partner with AHLA on the launch of their No Room for Trafficking campaign and commend their continued leadership on this issue. It’s crucial that the hospitality industry comes together to end human trafficking. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with AHLA to protect children from exploitation,” said Michelle Guelbart, ECPAT-USA Director of Private Sector Engagement.
“The hospitality industry is playing a critical role in helping to disrupt human trafficking through prioritization of innovative training techniques and increased resources for employees. Polaris is proud to work alongside AHLA and the industry as a partner in the No Room for Trafficking campaign, building upon the industry’s work to ensure employees remain vigilant and have a deep understanding of the most up-to-date indicators to spot human trafficking,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.
By partnering with local, state and federal law enforcement, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, AHLA is working to bring together law enforcement and government officials to expand currently established relationships and enhance partnerships.
AHLA continues to broaden educational resources and partnerships to address employee and guest safety with wide-ranging national organizations that target sexual violence, sexual assault, trafficking and promote workplace safety, including ECPAT USA, Polaris, BEST National Sexual Violence Resource Center, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, DC Rape Crisis Center, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Peace Over Violence, RALIANCE, RAINN, Safe House Project, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.