The WTTC has launched a global taskforce comprising travel industry members and associations to help prevent and combat human trafficking, an illicit activity that relies on travel networks to operate.
Gloria Guevara, president & CEO, WTTC commented on the taskforce formation: “Human trafficking is a devastating, widespread and critical issue that unfortunately relies on travel & tourism networks to operate. 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.”
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.
This global industry-wide initiative aims to increase industry and consumer awareness of human trafficking; train employees and travellers on how to identify and report suspected cases; 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; and to provide assistance, employability training and employment opportunities to survivors.
The human trafficking ‘industry’ is worth US$150 billion annually and contributes heavily to modern slavery, in which 40 million people worldwide are entrapped. One-quarter of trafficking victims worldwide are children (or 5.5 million). Meanwhile, 19 per cent of victims are trafficked for sexual purposes, which makes up 66 per cent of the illicit income generated.