Interfaith Children’s Movement Launches Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Campaign to Raise Awareness in the Hospitality Industry
Interfaith Children’s Movement has launched a state-wide campaign called, “Ask Before You Book,” to raise awareness within the interfaith community and the hospitality industry of the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in Georgia. The campaign asks faith communities to pose three basic questions to potential lodging facilities prior to booking their conference, convention, meeting or other activity:
- Does your company have a formal written policy in its annual report against human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children?
- Does your company provide annual anti-human trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children awareness and response training for its employees?
- Does your company include anti-human trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children messaging in each lodging facility’s brochures?
“ICM believes that if the interfaith community begins to ask these questions, then the hospitality industry will begin to respond with a movement towards making their lodgings safer places for all children,” says Pamela Perkins Carn, coordinator of the Interfaith Children’s Movement.
Studies have shown that anywhere from 250 to 500 girls are sold for sex each month in Georgia. The average age of entry for a child into the commercial sex trade is 12 - 14 years old. A 2010 study by The Shapiro Group, reported that on average, 7,200 men knowingly or unknowingly purchase adolescent females for sex each month in Georgia.
In 2011, metropolitan Atlanta possessed the seventh largest supply of U.S. hotel rooms. “Many of our children are victimized in the hotels, motels and other lodging facilities that highlight our cities’ skylines and populate our highways and communities. The hospitality industry can play a key role in arresting the continued victimization of our children,” said Perkins Carn.
Some things that the Hospitality Industry can do to help:
- Comply with Georgia law and post the National Human Trafficking Hotline posting (HB 141).
- Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-3737-888) in their brochures and on their bedroom and bathroom telephones.
- Provide mandatory anti-human trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children awareness and response training to their employees and contracted transportation providers.
- Make a public statement in their annual reports against human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
- Support legislation that protects children from victimization.
- Cooperate with law enforcement in their efforts to apprehend perpetrators.
- Sign onto The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct.