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Human Trafficking is a Global Crime

Huan Rescue Plan

Most everyone in the travel and tourism industry can agree that Human Trafficking is a crime. UNWTO under the current leadership eliminated the Task Force on Sexual Exploitation of Children, what is not eliminating this important issue. WTTC is standing up. WTN applauds the WTTC initiative on pointing out the dark side of tourism, human trafficking.

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  1. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched a major new report which signals how the global Travel & Tourism sector can help eradicate human trafficking.
  2. The report is released with support from the Carlson Family Foundation and builds on WTTC’s Human Trafficking Taskforce, which was launched in 2019 at its Global Summit in Seville, Spain. 
  3. With its report ‘Preventing Human Trafficking: An Action Framework for the Travel & Tourism Sector, WTTC aims to strengthen cooperation across stakeholders and share best practices to raise awareness about how the sector can, and does, make a difference, to proactively address this global crime. 

The report details an action framework to tackle human trafficking, around four main pillars: Awareness, Education & Training, Advocacy, and Support. 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that on any given day in 2016, more than 40 million people around the world were victims of human trafficking. 

The pandemic has not only put a spotlight on pre-existing inequalities but exacerbated them. This has accelerated the urgent need for targeted actions within the Travel & Tourism sector. 

The report offers solutions both within the sector and beyond, as the complexity of these transnational crimes requires multi-disciplinary efforts and concerted coordinated action by stakeholders, such as states, private companies, and international organizations around the world. 

For the Travel & Tourism sector, this means involving the expertise of all stakeholders, including survivors, as well as civil society organizations to establish joint initiatives. 

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President, and Acting CEO, WTTC said: “Human trafficking is a global crime which preys on the vulnerable, continues to grow and affect the lives of millions around the world.

“This vital report offers a framework for the Travel & Tourism sector to play its part to help combat human trafficking. Given the sector’s inadvertent position in the path of human traffickers, we need to shoulder our responsibility to ensure that the Travel & Tourism sector offers a safe and welcoming environment for those who work within it.

“Ultimately, travel is something that brings people together, and it is critical that we proactively help address this crime. 

“The sector needs a cohesive approach and focus its efforts on driving forward advocacy related to human trafficking by engaging all key stakeholders. We hope that this report can aid in that task.” 

This in-depth report highlights the need to work on facilitating an approach which will enhance the understanding of the crime of human trafficking, enable better identification, prevention, and mitigation of potential and actual impacts of the sector, and further public-private collaboration to ensure that appropriate steps are taken by governments when human trafficking is detected.

The report is launched in advance of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (30 July), which highlights the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. 

WTTC would also like to thank the following organizations for contributing to this important report: Carlson, CWT, AMEX GBT, Marriott International, Hilton, Ingle, JTB Corp, ECPAT International, Airbnb, AIG Travel, Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Emirates, Expedia Group, ITF, It’s a Penalty, Marano Perspectives.

The World Tourism Network is applauding the effort by WTTC to address this important and dark subject.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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1 Comment

  • Thanks Juergan for posting this. (The first paragraph had a typo though, I believe?) And yes, Human Trafficking is essentially Human Slavery. And Child Trafficking is the most horrific, especially for those used for ritual sexual abuse. https://www.jonwedgerfoundation.org/rains-list The more people become aware of these crimes against humanity, the more we can make them stop.