Meeting Mentor Magazine

May 2024

What You Can Do

TraffickCam Newest Tool
To Fight Human Trafficking

Meeting planners can truly be lifesavers in the battle against human trafficking, but only when they are trained to see and anonymously report suspected incidents at the hotels they so often visit for their work.

Here are important steps that individuals, organizations and corporations can take, plus a new and easy tool to utilize:

• Sign the Code of Conduct, six guidelines you can implement to protect children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism, where most of these crimes (child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, the prostitution of children, and child pornography) take place.
• Create a policy that repudiates the issue and commits the operation to address it. Then provide recognition for employees’ efforts.
• Include RFP language that elicits a property’s policies and actions against human trafficking. More and more organizations and companies are taking this step — “a small thing with big impact,” said Michelle Guelbart, MSW, director of private sector engagement for ECPAT-USA, an anti-trafficking policy organization.
• Train staff who might potentially come in contact with guests to identify possible victims and to follow specific protocols in notifying the authorities. Training can include screening a movie about trafficking, bringing in a speaker at a “lunch and learn,” or sponsoring an event that raises awareness of this cause.
• Download and use the TraffickCam app, which can help law enforcement stop human trafficking. In the app, created by Exchange Initiative, people upload photos of the hotel rooms they stay in when traveling. These images will be databased to help determine the hotel rooms of victims shown in online ads. The photos become evidence in the prosecution of perpetrators of these crimes.

Too often, victims — many of them children — “are mistaken for willing participants,” said Guelbart during a recent webinar. At the same time, too many people have the misconception that human trafficking only happens in developing countries. “It’s a big issue that can and does happen everywhere — all over the world and in the U.S. as well,” she emphasized.

Examine hotels you visit or book for your meetings for these important measures:

Commitment to a stated anti-trafficking policy, if not signatory to the Code.
The training they conduct to raise awareness, who receives it and how often.
Improved security — lights in parking lots, staff at the front desk at late hours, entrances and exits requiring guests to pass hotel employees.
Signs — inappropriate dress for a guest’s age, little or no luggage, excess use of towels and sheets. — Maxine Golding

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 4,400+ associations, corporations, and sporting authorities through our 400+ global associates.

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, is a business journal for senior meeting planners that is distributed in print and digital editions to the clients, prospects, and associates of ConferenceDirect, which handles over 13,000 worldwide meetings, conventions, and incentives annually.

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