IHG has partnered with two leading anti-human trafficking organisations, ECPAT-USA and Polaris, to strengthen the company's ongoing efforts against trafficking and support survivors. These engagements come fresh on the heels of the United Nations' observance of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July, designed to call attention to the millions of individuals trafficked annually.
Through the support of ECPAT-USA and Polaris' programmes, IHG will raise awareness of the prevalence and dangers of human trafficking via education and advocacy. Senior advisors from both organisations will also join IHG's anti-human trafficking steering committee and offer subject matter expertise for the company's initiatives to stop criminal behaviour through identification and reporting. In addition, IHG will continue to support ECPAT-USA and Polaris by donating IHG One Rewards loyalty points, which will help the organisations provide refuge for human trafficking survivors escaping dangerous situations.
"IHG's partnerships with ECPAT-USA and Polaris are a next step in our relationship with these leading organisations," said Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts. "This effort, in addition to our ongoing industry-wide collaborations, underscores our deep commitment to making progress against trafficking's horrible crimes. Working together more closely will help us focus on the most impactful initiatives, as well as help us support and learn from trafficking survivors to strengthen prevention measures."
As part of its engagement with Polaris, IHG will serve as the only hospitality sponsor for its National Survivor Study (NSS). A critical component of Polaris' evidence-based efforts to combat human trafficking, the Study is a scientifically rigorous, qualitative and quantitative study co-created and co-delivered with victims and survivors. It will comprise feedback from surveys, interviews and focus groups with anti-trafficking leaders and survivors across North America and is anticipated to conclude in December 2022.
"The first of its kind, the NSS will lift up new and different insights from the experts themselves – victims and survivors. Polaris is thrilled to partner with IHG and our other funders on this innovative and survivor-centred work," said Jen Jinks, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, Polaris.
In addition to its partnerships with ECPAT-USA and Polaris, IHG works closely with many other organisations to coordinate efforts and share anti-human trafficking best practices. The company is also a proud partner of the international nonprofit organisation It's A Penalty, which works to stop trafficking around sporting events, and Atlanta nonprofit organisation Wellspring Living in the U.S., which focuses on transforming the lives of those at risk for or victimised by sexual exploitation.
Other additional ways the company is working to effectively fight these exploitations that plague communities worldwide include working together with industry trade groups like the American Hotel & Lodging Association and its foundation to support its "No Room for Trafficking" programme, as well as providing free anti-human trafficking training for all IHG hotels and colleagues.