Sabre Holdings Joins Campaign Against Child Sex Trafficking
By Kate Rice
May 30, 2012 9:05 PM
Sabre Holdings has joined members of the travel and tourism industry to fight sexual exploitation of children by signing the tourism Code of Conduct. This is a tourism-driven initiative to prevent child exploitation, that is co-funded y the Swiss Government (SECO) and private sector, and supported by Ending Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) International network, with UNICEF and the World Tourism Organization acting as advisory partners.
Sabre joins eight other U.S.-based companies that have signed the code which has more than 1,000 members worldwide. These include the Accor Group, Carlson Group, Delta Air Lines, Hilton Worldwide and Wyndham Worldwide.
“Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative, widespread and fastest-growing crimes, and often the travel and tourism industry is an unwilling and unknowing participant used by traffickers,” said Sam Gilliland, CEO and chairman of Sabre Holdings. “Consequently, we are uniquely positioned to be a driving force in putting an end to these horrific crimes.”
As a member, Sabre will look at ways to condemn child trafficking and exploitation, including providing training to its 10,000 global employees so they are more informed about the issue. It will also explore ways to raise awareness about human trafficking with its airline, hotel, travel agency and corporate customers, as well as directly to travelers who use its online booking tools, Travelocity.com, lastminute.com and Zuji.com.
“We will look at adding useful information about human trafficking to a traveler’s e-ticket receipt, for example, so they can be better prepared to identify and report potential trafficking incidents,” said Gilliland. “We’ll also work with the travel industry and government organizations around the world to shine more light on this issue and encourage them to be part of the solution.”
Sabre has invited the Polaris Project, an organization focused on combating all forms of human trafficking, to educate more than 350 travel agents and technology professionals expected to attend the company’s annual Technology and Marketing University event next week in Las Vegas.
The transportation industry in general has a unique window on human trafficking, whose victims are often forced into the commercial sex business. Truckers Against Trafficking is an organization that informs truckers and truck plaza employees about human trafficking and alerts law enforcement to the plight of its victims, who are often young girls.