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Published on : Friday, November 15, 2013
Maritz Travel joined the fight against human trafficking by signing ECPAT-USA’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct during a company-wide town hall meeting. Signing The Code, a set of business principles travel and tourism companies implement to specifically fight child sex trafficking, symbolizes Maritz Travel’s commitment to helping raise awareness of human trafficking and child sex trafficking throughout the travel and tourism industry. Maritz Travel is one of the first travel companies to collaborate with ECPAT in the fight against child sex trafficking.
Almost 21 million people around the world are victims of modern day slavery. In the U.S. alone, at least 100,000 of those victims are American children with another 200,000–300,000 at risk each year.
In the past, traffickers sold their victims on the streets, but now they have moved their operations onto the internet and use technology to sell their victims. Traffickers move across cities and countries using air, ground transportation companies, and use hotels as venues to abuse victims, without the knowledge of owners. The travel and tourism industry is one of few industries that come across these victims.
Maritz Travel is launching a company-wide awareness program to inform employees of the important role travel companies have in protecting children. The company will create a policy against human trafficking, develop training for all employees, and encourage suppliers and partners to get involved with ECPAT-USA and The Code.
More than a dozen U.S. companies and organizations in the travel and tourism industry, including airlines, hotel companies, management companies, tour operators, and distributors have already pledged their support. For the full list of ECPAT-USA code signatories.