Sabre Joins Fight Against Human Trafficking
First global travel technology company to sign tourism 'Code of Conduct'
SOUTHLAKE, Texas – May 30, 2012 – Global travel technology company, Sabre Holdings, has joined members of the travel and tourism industry to fight sexual exploitation of children by signing the tourism Code of Conduct (The Code). 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 is the first travel technology company and the eighth U.S-based company to sign the Code, which has more than 1000 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 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. 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.
"Having a global technology company like Sabre join The Code is an important step forward in child protection. There is great potential to leverage their technology to address exploitation,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director at ECPAT-USA. “It is also encouraging that they are willing to associate their brand with an organization that works on a difficult issue. Corporations that are willing to take this step have a genuine passion for the industry and the welfare of children, and I hope we continue to find support from more of these altruistic companies.”
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.
Bradley Myles Executive Director and CEO of Polaris Project said: “Sabre’s passion, expertise and resources add a new dimension to this cause, and it’s great to see them already proving a commitment to leverage their resources by having us educate attendees at their Technology and Marketing University event.”
The signing of The Code is part of Sabre’s broader commitment to global corporate responsibility in areas of travel, tourism and the communities it lives and works in.
About Sabre Holdings: a global travel technology company, serving the world’s largest industry – travel and tourism. We provide software to travel agencies, corporations, travelers, airlines, hotels, car, rail, cruise and tour operator companies through our four businesses: Sabre Airline Solutions, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Sabre Travel Network and Travelocity (including lastminute.com and Zuji). Sabre has approximately 10,000 employees in 60 countries around the world. It has large development and customer care centers in the United States, Argentina, India, Philippines, Poland and Uruguay. Sabre has won numerous awards for being a top employer and corporate citizen in Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, Poland, and the United States. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, Sabre is privately owned by Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and Silver Lake Partners. For more information please visit: www.sabre.com
About ECPAT: the U.S. arm of ECPAT International, is focused on protecting children trafficked into the U.S., American children trafficked for sexual exploitation, and foreign children exploited by American tourists traveling abroad. ECPAT International is a global network of organizations working together for the elimination of child trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography. The network is comprised of 81 groups in 74 countries around the world. All ECPAT groups are independent grassroots organizations, working to combat child exploitation at the local level. For more information, visit www.ecpatusa.org.
About Polaris Project: is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children, and they operate the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline. For more information, please visit: www.polarisproject.org
Note to Editors
About child sex tourism: Child sex tourism is the commercial sexual exploitation of children by people who travel from one place to another to engage in sexual acts with minors. Often, child sex tourists travel from a richer country to one that is less developed, or they may be travellers within their own countries or region. Some child sex tourists (preferential abusers and paedophiles) target children specifically, but most do not usually have a sexual preference for children; they are situational abusers who unscrupulously take advantage of a situation in which children are made available to them. Child sex tourists take advantage of their anonymity as well as the socio-economic disparities in the locations they visit. They may try to rationalise their actions by claiming sex with a child is culturally acceptable or that money or goods exchanged benefit the child and community, or by setting their own thresholds for defining who is a child (under the CRC, a child is anyone under the age of 18).
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