KF Events becomes the newest company to join the fight to protect children from sexual exploitation and human trafficking by joining the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. KF Events, a meeting and events company is positioned to help engage directly with hotels who can be trained on the topic. ECPAT-USA is proud to welcome them to the family of companies protecting children. Continue reading
NGOs unite to call for an increased investment in prevention efforts to protect children from exploitation in ECPAT-USA’s response to the U.S. Government’s (USG) report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In partnership with 59 organizations, ECPAT-USA submitted the NGO Alternative Report, an assessment of the U.S. Government’s work to implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC). Continue reading
Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) announce 2015 Top Members
Top Member companies from around the world are recognized for their “exceptional work to integrate child protection practices into their businesses.” 19 of the companies are based in the United States and are guided through their membership and implementation with the support of Local Code Representative, ECPAT-USA.
The Code is a set of six voluntary guidelines that travel and tourism companies implement to comprehensively and proactively combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children. In order for a company to be recognized as a Top Member, companies must implement all six of The Code criteria within their business operations and reported publicly on TheCode.Org website.
“This year’s group of Top Members continuously drive change in the tourism industry to raise awareness and combat human trafficking and child exploitation,” said Michelle Guelbart, director of private sector engagement of ECPAT-USA. “Each company cares deeply about this issue and takes their implementation of The Code very seriously. Without strong public private partnerships, we would not be able to do the work we do.”
TraffickCam was developed by the social action organization Exchange Initiative and researchers at Washington University. The app is available for iPhone and iPad at the App Store (bit.ly/TraffickCamApp) and for Android devices at Google Play (bit.ly/TraffickCamAndroid).
Sex trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that forces children and adults to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Most victims are recruited when they are just 12 to 14 years old, coerced through drugs, violence, debt bondage and intimidation. According to UNICEF, at least 300,000 American children and 1.2 million children worldwide are sex trafficked each year.
TraffickCam allows any traveler with a smartphone to help fight sex trafficking by uploading photos of their hotel room to an enormous, constantly updated database of hotel room images. Federal, state and local law enforcement securely submit photos of sex trafficking victims posed in hotel rooms to TraffickCam. Features such as patterns in the carpeting, furniture, room accessories and window views are matched against the database of traveler images to provide law enforcement with a list of potential hotels where the photo may have been taken. Early testing showed that the app is 85 percent accurate in identifying the correct hotel in the top 20 matches.
Some of the results are not at all surprising. “Child sex worker” and “child prostitute” should never be used to describe exploited children. Both terms actually harm children because they shift the blame for the exploitation to the children themselves. But most of the report is devoted to defining the many terms and if and when they should be employed. The section describing the difference between “commercial sexual exploitation” and “sexual exploitation” of children is especially interesting. Continue reading
Washington – May 16, 2016 – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined flight attendants, anti-trafficking advocates, and federal law enforcement at Ronald Reagan National Airport to urge Congress to pass legislation that would help to combat human trafficking on commercial air flights.
By a bipartisan vote of 95-3, the Senate last month approved legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that includes a provision championed by Sens. Klobuchar and Warner to combat human trafficking in the skies. The legislation – modeled on the Stop Trafficking on Planes (STOP) Act that the Senators introduced earlier this year – requires airlines to provide training for flight attendants to recognize and report suspected human trafficking to law enforcement. Sens. Warner and Klobuchar worked to include language modeled on the STOP Act in the FAA bill because flight attendants, through their interactions with large numbers of air travelers, are uniquely positioned to identify potential victims and help bring human traffickers to justice.
This Thursday, ECPAT-USA’s Director of Development and Partnerships, Sarah Porter was interviewed on BRIC Live about #DoesYourHotel. The PSA was recently nominated for a New York Emmy under the category of ‘Community/Public Service.’
#DoesYourHotelKnow alerts hotels and travelers alike to educate themselves about the signs of sex trafficking, with a call to action. The PSA, produced by Liam Billingham through the BRIC Media Share Program was featured on CNN, Huffington Post, and Upworthy.