KF Events Joins the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct

KF Events Joins the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct

imgresKF 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

ECPAT-USA and 59 organizations join together to call for increased investment in prevention to protect children from exploitation

ECPAT-USA and 59 organizations join together to call for increased investment in prevention to protect children from exploitation

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

19 US Companies Recognized for Exceptional Efforts to Protect Children from Trafficking and Exploitation

19 US Companies Recognized for Exceptional Efforts to Protect Children from Trafficking and Exploitation

Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) announce 2015 Top Membersthe code LOGO

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.”

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Travelers use TraffickCam app to fight sex trafficking by uploading hotel room photos to national database

Travelers use TraffickCam app to fight sex trafficking by uploading hotel room photos to national database
ST. LOUIS, MO – Travelers can help in the fight against sex trafficking by using a new, free mobile app called TraffickCam to anonymously photograph hotel rooms and upload data to a national database used by law enforcement and investigators to locate victims and their pimps.

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.
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Creating a Common Language to Address Child Sexual Exploitation

Creating a Common Language to Address Child Sexual Exploitation
“Words matter.” So begins the newest ECPAT publication, Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, analyzing the terms that should be and should not be used to describe the various ways that children are sexually abused and exploited. The report is the consensus of an international working group that grappled with both new terms (such as ”live streaming of online sexual abuse”) and old terms (“child prostitution”) that are used in our advocacy work aimed at protecting children. It takes a children’s rights approach to analyzing the words and discusses how they are embedded in international treaties and agreements, states’ laws and how they are generally understood by the public.
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

SENATORS JOIN WITH FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, LAW ENFORCEMENT & ECPAT-USA TO CALL ON CONGRESS TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING ON COMMERCIAL AIR FLIGHTS

SENATORS JOIN WITH FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, LAW ENFORCEMENT & ECPAT-USA TO CALL ON CONGRESS TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING ON COMMERCIAL AIR FLIGHTS

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.

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UBER SIGNS TOURISM CHILD-PROTECTION CODE OF CONDUCT, JOINING ECPAT-USA IN PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING

Uber Signs The CodeECPAT-USA UBER Logos

UBER SIGNS TOURISM CHILD-PROTECTION CODE OF CONDUCT, JOINING ECPAT-USA IN PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING
New York, NY (April 20, 2016) – ECPAT-USA is proud to announce a partnership with Uber Technologies Inc. to take a stand against the commercial sexual exploitation of children by signing the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) for initial implementation in the United States.
The Code is an internationally accepted industry-driven corporate social responsibility framework that helps companies in the travel and tourism industry. The Code’s six guidelines require companies to put in place policies and programs to protect children from sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Prior to joining The Code, Uber expanded their Code of Conduct to prohibit all forms of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children. Uber will continue to build their commitment to protect children and offer resources to drivers and report annually on their Code implementation.
“As soon as Uber’s Safety team learned about the role they could play in protecting children, they knew they had to get involved.” said Carol Smolenski, executive director of ECPAT-USA. “Uber demonstrated a genuine commitment to protecting children and preventing their exploitation.”
“Uber is committed to safety in the communities we serve and we want to do our part to help put an end to the transportation of trafficked children,” said Niki Christoff Head of Federal Affairs for Uber. “By partnering with ECPAT-USA, we are taking steps to promote awareness and educate drivers who sign up on our platform about this important issue.”
Uber and ECPAT-USA will be joined in Washington D.C. by anti-trafficking advocates Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), who will provide remarks and witness the signing of The Code commitment.
For additional information about the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct and how your company can be involved, visit www.ecpatusa.org/code.
About ECPAT-USA: ECPAT-USA is the leading 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 the ECPAT International network, with offices in 73 countries. For more information, visit www.ecpatusa.org/code or contact Michelle Guelbart at (718) 935-9192 or michelle@ecpatusa.org.

Dates for ECPAT-USA’s Next Advocacy Journeys Announced

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Dates for ECPAT-USA’s Next Advocacy Journeys Announced
On the heels of our first successful advocacy journey to Thailand last November, we’re excited to announce an ECPAT-USA trip to Thailand with our partner Altruvistas is planned for later this year, plus an entirely new destination has been added—Colombia.
Colombia, here we come!
This May, ECPAT-USA, in partnership with Altruvistas, a tour company focused on sustainable philanthropic travel and also member of the The Code, will lead a trip to Cartagena, Colombia called Behind The CODE: An ECPAT Advocacy Journey to Colombia.
Like the inaugural journey to Thailand last year, this trip gives travelers an educative perspective about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, along with sharing the inspiring work being done on the ground to combat it. This journey focuses on how the travel industry fights trafficking, and how you as a traveler can Travel for Good.
Travelers will also get to explore the culture and history of Colombia, along with its beautiful beaches. And as an added bonus, a portion of the proceeds from the trip will help support ECPAT’s work.
If the last ECPAT-USA journey is any indication, we have no doubt that this journey will be a unique, memorable experience for participants.
Take Action!
Journey to Colombia with ECPAT-USA in May
If you’re interested in traveling with ECPAT-USA to Cartagena, Colombia over this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, May 27-31: Visit www.altruvistas.com/upcoming-journeys/colombia/ for more info, or email sporter@ecpatusa.org for more details and costs. You can also download the itinerary here.
Journey to Thailand with ECPAT-USA in November
Come travel with ECPAT-USA November 27th – December 7th, 2016 as we return to Thailand! Once again this trip to Thailand will educate participants about the issue of trafficking, meet the advocates who are working to combat it, and learn about how the travel industry plays a role. Emailsporter@ecpatusa.org for more details and how to register.
Remember, you can check out vibrant photographs from the last ECPAT-USA Thailand journey to get the full picture and read a day-by-day blog about the trip and adventures written by participant Karen Weiss.

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Watch ECPAT-USA interview about our New York Emmy nominated PSA #DoesYourHotelKnow

Watch ECPAT-USA interview about our New York Emmy nominated PSA #DoesYourHotelKnow

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.’

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#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.

Watch the full PSA here and the interview here.
Click here to take action.

Be in it to END IT with ECPAT-USA on 2.25.2016

Be in it to END IT with ECPAT-USA on 2.25.2016
ECPAT-USA is excited to announce that we will partnering with the END IT Movement for the third year in a row to shine a light on modern day slavery. On February 25, organizations, individuals and companies around the world will join in an awareness campaign on Twitter and Facebook to let people know that slavery is real, but together, we can end it. Continue reading