ECPAT-USA is pleased to welcome Caesars as the first global gaming-entertainment company to sign The Code.
Caesars Entertainment, the world's most diversified casino-entertainment provider, is strengthening its commitment to end human trafficking in partnership with two global organizations that lead the fight to prevent and eradicate the issue. In observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Caesars announced it has committed to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children by signing ECPAT's Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code), and joined a premier consortium of hospitality leaders in the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), which provides a platform for companies to share best practices to end human trafficking.
"Victims of human trafficking, including those involved in the commercial sex industry, do not choose to participate. Rather, they are manipulated, brainwashed and forced based on unforeseen and, oftentimes, seemingly inescapable circumstances," said Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment. "We are deeply committed to eliminating sex trafficking and all other forms of human trafficking in our industry and beyond."
Human trafficking, which includes commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, is a complex issue and a particular challenge for the hospitality industry as it often intersects with organized crime activities including arms or drug sales and cybercrime. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion industry each year. To combat this issue, Caesars has been actively developing comprehensive policies and protocols, including collaboration with advocacy groups and national frameworks, for several years.
The Code is a joint venture of the tourism and hospitality sectors and ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization in the U.S. seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Caesars is the first global gaming-entertainment company to sign. A set of shared business principles that travel-related companies implement to prevent human trafficking and exploitation, The Code establishes a framework for companies to provide training, enact a value chain and educate, support and collaborate with stakeholders.
"As the first global gaming-entertainment company to sign The Code, Caesars Entertainment's efforts will be amplified through our network as we identify and respond to human trafficking and child exploitation," said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. "ECPAT-USA is excited about the new partnership and the comprehensive angle Caesars is taking to address the issue."
Additionally, Caesars joined other hospitality industry leaders as a member of ITP. The organization is a unique industry coalition that convenes leading hotel brands that recognize the need for collective and collaborative action to achieve the group's set of "Sustainable Development Goals," including those related to human rights.
"We're delighted to welcome Caesars Entertainment to our membership and aid in its mission to prevent and address instances of human trafficking in all forms," said Madhu Rajesh, Director at ITP. "This important step forward allows Caesars and our other partners the opportunity to collaborate among like-minded and driven organizations to make an impact on human rights issues like human trafficking."
Caesars Entertainment also combats human trafficking through its pioneering, multi-year counter-trafficking program created in collaboration with international trafficking and trauma expert Dr. Halleh Seddighzadeh. As part of the program, Caesars conducts customized, in-depth training of Community Engagement Ambassadors at 12 resorts in Nevada and North Carolina. Community Engagement Ambassadors are security employees who are trained to identify potential indicators of human trafficking, especially sex trafficking. The program also includes anti-trafficking videos and signage along with victim-centered and trauma-focused internal and external protocols and policies. In observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Caesars will honor its Las Vegas-region Community Engagement Ambassadors with two ceremonies hosted by the company's senior leadership.
"Businesses have the power to disrupt and intercept issues related to human trafficking by shifting the narrative," said Dr. Seddighzadeh. "By utilizing a victim-centered approach and training Community Engagement Ambassadors, Caesars is actively combatting commercial sexual exploitation at its roots and using business as a powerful tool for healing and change."
Caesars shares its Stance Against Human Trafficking on its website as part of its Corporate Code of Commitment. As part of Caesars' established leadership, it is a founding partner of the Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) Employers Alliance. BEST is the first public-private partnership in the nation to work across industries to prevent commercial sexual exploitation. Caesars Entertainment also participates in the American Gaming Association Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, which includes a focus on addressing human trafficking in the gaming industry. Further, the company acknowledges the potential for forced labor in supply chains, and its Responsible Supplier Statement outlines reasonable expectations for the responsible and ethical business practices of suppliers throughout its supply chain.
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 ecpatusa.org.
ABOUT CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION
Caesars Entertainment is the world's most diversified casino-entertainment provider and the most geographically diverse U.S. casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, in 1937, Caesars Entertainment has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions and its portfolio of subsidiaries now operate 47 casinos in 13 U.S. states and five countries. Caesars Entertainment's resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah's® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars Entertainment's portfolio also includes the Caesars Entertainment UK family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars Entertainment is committed to its employees, suppliers, communities and the environment through its PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com.
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 ecpatusa.org/Code.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL TOURISM PARTNERSHIP
The International Tourism Partnership drives responsible business in the hospitality industry by engaging with the world's leading hotel companies, which collectively manage 35,000 hotels. ITP's members are Caesars Entertainment, Deutsche Hospitality, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, Indian Hotels Company Ltd, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, NH Hotel Group, Radisson Hotel Group, Scandic Hotels, Soneva, Whitbread and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. ITP is an initiative of Business in the Community. BITC is the Prince of Wales' Responsible Business Network. For more information on ITP and our programs visit http://tourismpartnership.org/.
Cover image via Caesars Entertainment