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Stopping Human Trafficking: Hotel and Planner Organizations Play a Role

Several major hotel firms have announced new partnerships and substantial financial contributions to combat trafficking on their premises.

With July 30 being the United Nations’ “World Day Against Trafficking in Persons,” two large hotel companies announced programs to assist victims of trafficking—who are often moved though hotels—as well as training employees to identify and report trafficking situations they observe.

First, IHG Hotels & Resorts has partnered with two major anti-trafficking organizations, ECPAT-USA and Polaris, to bring better training to IHG employees at its 3,850 U.S. properties. Senior personnel from the two organizations will become IHG committee members and provide subject-matter expertise regularly to the hotel company. In addition, IHG will support ECPAT-USA and Polaris by donating One Reward loyalty-program points to be used to provide refuge for trafficking survivors escaping their situations.

Second, the Hyatt Hotels Foundation made a $500,000 donation last week to the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation to expand its efforts to prevent human trafficking and also to launch the “No Room for Trafficking Survivors Fund.” Extended Stay America and Motel 6 corporate parent G6 Hospitality pledged $500,000 to the fund as well. The combined $1 million in aid will allow community-based organizations to support trafficking victims’ short-term needs as well as fund job training and other career assistance.

“We recognize the potential of human trafficking to intersect with the hospitality industry and believe that one of the best ways the industry can combat the egregious violation of fundamental human rights is through efforts like the AHLA Foundation’s No Room for Trafficking Survivors Fund,” said Malaika Myers, Hyatt Hotels Foundation.

In 2019, Marriott produced a 30-minute online educational program in conjunction with ECPAT-USA and Polaris that became a centerpiece for the AHLA Foundation’s No Room for Trafficking training for hospitality employees.

On the planner side, the Professional Convention Management Association, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, and Meeting Professionals International have each been active partners with ECPAT-USA. To educate meeting planners, attendees, and other business travelers on how to prevent and respond to human trafficking, ECPAT-USA created its own 25-minute online course in 2019.

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