Travel industry fights human trafficking
Carlson, a global leader in the hospitality and travel industry, and several other industry players are leading in the fight against human trafficking.
Human trafficking – the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery or forced labor – has grown into an estimated $32 billion industry, and in an interview with the New York Times, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman of Carlson, said that “the travel and hospitality industry is in a unique position to address this problem.”
In 2004, Carlson became the first United States-based global travel and hospitality company to sign the voluntary “Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct,” a voluntary set of guidelines for the travel and tourism industry, and suppliers like Delta Air Lines, Hilton Worldwide and Sabre Holdings soon followed.
Carlson’s more than 80,000 hotel employees in 81 countries receive required training to deter trafficking of children, and front desk employees are encouraged to look for visual clues among potential victims.
Earlier this year, Carlson Nelson was recognized with the Public Leadership Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs for her work to stop sex trafficking.
Other large suppliers in the travel industry are also making commitments to do their part.
- Delta Air Lines:
Delta is one of the first airlines to adopt a new training program in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Department of Transportation to help raise awareness and combat the problem of human trafficking. By the end of 2013, all customer-facing Delta employees will participate in the new Blue Lightning initiative, a computer-based training program that provides airlines with added tools to help identify and report suspected instances of human trafficking. Combined with Delta’s current safety and security training initiatives, the program will help prevent air transportation from being used as a vehicle to commit human trafficking and other forms of human rights abuses.
- Sabre Holdings:
In 2012, Sabre Holdings launched the “Passport to Freedom” program to increase awareness and educate the travel industry on human trafficking issues. Online training for the company’s 10,000 global employees began earlier this year to help employees be better informed on the issues and to partner with non-profit, travel and government organizations that support global advocacy towards ending human trafficking. This summer, Sabre hosted a training session for law enforcement officers across North Texas, which was very successful. The training played a role in an officer getting a victim of human trafficking the help she needed because he learned of the available resources in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas through the Passport to Freedom training.
Thank you, Carlson and our supplier partners for taking a stand on this important issue! To learn more, click here.