Global travel technology giant Sabre Holdings reports it has joined members of the travel and tourism industry to fight sexual exploitation of children by signing the tourism Code of Conduct (The Code). Among its goals will be educating agents and industry on the issue, Sabre said.
A tourism-driven initiative to prevent child exploitation, The Code is co-funded by 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 said it is the first travel technology company and the eighth U.S-based company to sign the Code, which has more than 1,00 members worldwide. It joins many of its customers in fighting the sexual exploitation of children including 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. Consequently, we are uniquely positioned to be a driving force in putting an end to these horrific crimes,” said Sam Gilliland, CEO and chairman of Sabre Holdings.
As a member, Sabre said it 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. 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,” said Gilliland.
Human trafficking is estimated to be a US$32 billion trade affecting 161 countries worldwide, Sabre said. Today over 12 million men, women and children are trafficked within and across international borders for commercial sex or forced labor, including in the U.S where an estimated 100,000 children are forced into the sex trade each year.
Demonstrating its immediate commitment to The Code, 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.