World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is establishing a global taskforce to help the travel industry prevent and combat human trafficking – including of children for sexual purposes.
Tourism is both particularly vulnerable and well placed to address the issue, since human trafficking – which affects 30 million victims worldwide – relies on travel networks to operate.
Human trafficking is worth $150bn annually, and contributes heavily to modern slavery, in which 40 million people worldwide are entrapped.
One-quarter of trafficking victims worldwide are children. Meanwhile, 19% of victims are trafficked for sexual purposes, which makes up 66% of the illicit income generated.The taskforce, comprising WTTC Members and sector associations, will become the first global industry-wide initiative to assert zero tolerance and share best practice.
The founding members of the taskforce are Airbnb, Amex GBT, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Ctrip.com International, CWT, Emirates, Expedia Group, Hilton, JTB Corp, Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, Marriott International, Silversea, Thomas Cook and TUI.
The taskforce has been established for the purposes of:
*PREVENTION: to increase industry and consumer awareness of human trafficking.
*PROTECTION: to train employees and travellers on how to identify and report suspected cases.
*ACTION: to encourage governments to enact legislation which recognises human trafficking as a crime throughout the entire chain and develop resources and support needed such as national hotlines.
*SUPPORT: to provide assistance, employability training and employment opportunities to survivors.
“Human trafficking is a devastating, widespread and critical issue that unfortunately relies on Travel & Tourism networks to operate,” said Gloria Guevara Manzo, WTTC’s CEO and President. “As a sector, we must do everything in our power to help eradicate the problem so that people may move freely and safely across the globe, but never coerced.”