IHG Fights Against Human Trafficking with It’s a Penalty

One of the world’s leading hotel groups, IHG Hotels & Resorts, has partnered with the international nonprofit organisation It’s a Penalty (IAP) to support its campaign against human trafficking leading up to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. 

“IHG’s partnership with It’s a Penalty Campaign during the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles was critical in our fight against trafficking,” said Sarah de Carvalho, CEO, It’s a Penalty. “We especially appreciate IHG hosting our launch event and distributing the digital campaign kits to their hotels throughout Los Angeles. We are grateful for IHG’s dedication to this issue and applaud their anti-human trafficking efforts across the country year-round.”

Due to the prevalence of human trafficking around major sporting events, IAP launched its comprehensive awareness and prevention efforts before the February game. This month, the organisation has revealed its Impact Report arising from those efforts. 

Highlights include:

  • Fourteen children were identified in LA who were on the list of missing children
  • Eight minors were rescued from sexual exploitation in LA
  • Nearly 500 traffickers statewide were arrested, with over 200 arrests made in the LA County area alone.
  • The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported a 20 percent increase in calls before the Super Bowl compared to the same time the previous year
  • More than 420 hotel associates took anti-human trafficking training to help identify signs of exploitation
  • Over 450 area hotels received trafficking awareness kits, including It’s a Penalty posters in English and Spanish with hotline numbers and missing children lists

This year’s anti-human trafficking campaign coincided with National Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January and was launched at IHG’s Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown. The event gathered organisations across the hospitality industry to discuss combatting the issue. Attendees included the Hotel Association of Los Angeles, California Hotel & Lodging Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association, representatives from several prominent hotel companies and anti-human trafficking organisation A21.

Local officials, including U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA 37th) and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, also shared video messages of support for the cause, acknowledging the hospitality industry’s dedication to combatting the issue. The event ended with a live anti-human trafficking training with over 420 hotel associates taking part virtually and in person.

“IHG is proud to once again partner with It’s a Penalty not only to raise awareness of human trafficking and all its forms but more importantly, share the ways we can all prevent these terrible crimes from happening,” said Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “We are taking a strong stance in partnership with our owners, elected officials and others in the industry to condemn this exploitation and drive change. This focus is paired with a commitment to training colleagues and the diligence of every single hotel colleague – from parking attendants to the front desk to housekeeping – to help keep trafficking out of our 6,000 IHG-branded hotels.”

IHG continues to work closely with numerous organisations to share best practices and coordinate efforts around anti-human trafficking. Through its partnership with two leading anti-trafficking organisations - ECPAT and Polaris - the group supports many initiatives around education, raising awareness, supporting survivor programmes, and more, making a real difference in communities worldwide.