Friday, May 12, 2017

Human Trafficking and "The Code"

Just this week a couple in Red Deer, Alberta was charged with Human Trafficking in a case of exploiting temporary workers - at a hotel.  Details here

In this case the victims were being forced to work long hours for meager wages - and that pay was being clawed back as rent for living in a hotel room shared with up to four other workers. In other hotels and motels around the world, thousands of children are being trafficked for sex.

The statistics are heartbreaking.
  • Average age: 13 years  
  • Average life expectancy of child being trafficked: seven years
  • 95% of recovered child sex victims ran away from an abusive home
  • 1/3 of runaways are picked up by a pimp within 48 hours
  • Odds that a victim will be rescued: 1 in 100
....and the most disturbing, for those of us in the hospitality industry:

  • 94% of all sex trafficking takes place in a hotel or motel

Which is why ConferenceDirect has created a task force to address the issue - urging all associates to educate ourselves, sign "The Code", have meaningful conversations with our hotel and CVB partners, and even include language in our RFPs and contracts:

"As a socially responsible company and signatory of The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Contact (, the Hotel is committed to combating commercial sexual exploitation of children. The Hotel stands firm in our resolve to create awareness of sex trafficking of children by utilizing our professional resources in the travel and tourism industry. We ask that our partners do the same."

The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct is the only voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent child sex tourism and trafficking of children. The Code is a joint venture between the tourism private sector and ECPAT.
Companies that endorse The Code are supported by ECPAT-USA to :

  1. Establish a policy and procedures against sexual exploitation of children.
  2. Train employees in children's rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases.
  3. Include a clause in contracts throughout the value chain stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
  4. Provide information to travelers on children's rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and how to report suspected cases.
  5. Support, collaborate and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
  6. Report annually on their implementation of Code related activities.

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