WTTC forms task force to fight human trafficking

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WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara announcing the formation of a task force to help prevent and combat human trafficking.
WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara announcing the formation of a task force to help prevent and combat human trafficking. Photo Credit: James Abarke/WTTC

SEVILLE, Spain -- The World Travel & Tourism Council formed a global task force to help prevent and combat human trafficking, and WTTC called on the larger travel industry to join its effort. 

WTTC reports that trafficking affects 30 million victims worldwide and relies on travel networks to operate.

The task force will try to increase industry and consumer awareness of human trafficking and train both travel industry employees and travelers on ways to identify and report suspected cases. It will also encourage governments to enact legislation that recognizes human trafficking as a crime and develop resources and support needed such as national hotlines. 

WTTC will also provide assistance, employment training and opportunities to trafficking survivors.

"Human trafficking is a devastating, widespread and critical issue that unfortunately relies on travel and tourism networks to operate," said WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara. "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."

Guevara said that the global reach of the travel industry means "we have the power to do something about it. Many members are very active in this fight but there is no industrywide initiative." 

WTTC said one-quarter of the victims (5.5 million) of human trafficking are children and that 19% of victims are trafficked for sexual purposes, which makes up 66% of the of the $150 billion this illicit activity generates. 

The founding task force members are Airbnb, American Express Global Business Travel, Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Ctrip.com International, CWT, Emirates, Expedia Group, Hilton, JTB Corp., Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Marriott International, Silversea, Thomas Cook and TUI.

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