LONDON, 9 August 2021: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a major new report last week, which signals how the global Travel & Tourism sector can help eradicate human trafficking.

The report is released with support from the Carlson Family
Foundation and builds on WTTC’s Human Trafficking Taskforce, which was launched
in 2019 at its Global Summit in Seville, Spain.

Photo credit: WTTC.

With its report ‘Preventing Human Trafficking: An Action
Framework for the Travel & Tourism Sector, WTTC aims to strengthen
cooperation across stakeholders and share best practices to raise awareness
about how the sector can and does make a difference, to proactively address
this global crime.

The report details an action framework to tackle human
trafficking around four main pillars: Awareness, Education & Training,
Advocacy, and Support.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated
that on any given day in 2016, more than 40 million people around the world
were victims of human trafficking.

The pandemic has not only put a spotlight on pre-existing
inequalities but exacerbated them. This has accelerated the urgent need for
targeted actions within the Travel & Tourism sector.

The report offers solutions both within the sector and
beyond, as the complexity of these transnational crimes requires
multi-disciplinary efforts and concerted, coordinated action by stakeholders,
such as states, private companies, and international organisations around the
world.

For the Travel & Tourism sector, this means involving
the expertise of all stakeholders, including survivors, as well as civil
society organisations, to establish joint initiatives.

WTTC senior vice president and acting CEO Virginia Messina
said: “Human trafficking is a global crime which preys on the vulnerable,
continues to grow and affect the lives of millions around the world.

“This vital report offers a framework for the Travel &
Tourism sector to play its part to help combat human trafficking. Given the
sector’s inadvertent position in the path of human traffickers, we need to shoulder
our responsibility to ensure that the Travel & Tourism sector offers a safe
and welcoming environment for those who work within it.

“Ultimately, travel is something that brings people
together, and it is critical that we proactively help address this crime.

The sector needs a cohesive approach and focuses its efforts
on driving forward advocacy related to human trafficking by engaging all key
stakeholders. We hope that this report can aid in that task.”

This in-depth report highlights the need to work on
facilitating an approach that will enhance the understanding of the crime of
human trafficking, enable better identification, prevention, and mitigation of
potential and actual impacts of the sector, and further public-private
collaboration to ensure that appropriate steps are taken by governments when
human trafficking is detected.

To read the report in full, please click here.