Company’s milestone – reached during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month — underscores global commitment to safety and human rights
Marriott International announced that, as of this month, it has successfully trained 500,000 hotel workers to spot the signs of human trafficking in its hotels and how to respond if they do, marking a watershed moment in the global fight against this multinational crime. In the Middle East and Africa, more than 80 per cent of the company’s hotel workers completed the training – the highest completion rate for the company globally.
“Human trafficking is a horrific form of modern slavery that entraps millions of people around the world,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “By educating and empowering our global workforce to say something if they see something, we are not just standing up for the most vulnerable in society, we are also protecting our associates and guests as well as living up to a core company value — serving our world.”
Marriott launched its mandatory human trafficking awareness training program for on-property staff in both managed and franchised properties in January 2017, underscoring ongoing efforts under the company’s robust sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.
As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Marriott is pleased to report that thousands of associates have stepped forward to understand and stop the exploitation.
Training has resulted in rescues
Since launching the program, Marriott’s training has directly resulted in young people being removed from dangerous situations.
To develop and test its human trafficking awareness training program, Marriott spent nearly a year collaborating with ECPAT-USA and Polaris – two leading non-profits that specialize in combatting human trafficking. The company arranged for the program to be translated from English into 16 additional languages and also made sure it could be taken either online or in a classroom setting, so it can be accessed and understood in the 130 countries and territories where Marriott operates. The instruction is also broken down by role because the signs that a front desk clerk sees may differ from those that a housekeeper or bartender sees. The International Labour Organization projects that worldwide more than 40 million people are subjected to modern slavery – and UNICEF estimates that about 25 percent of trafficking globally involves children.
Examples of the visible and hidden warning signs that Marriott shares with its hotel staff:
* Minimal luggage and clothing
* Multiple men seen being escorted one at a time to a guest room
* Individuals who can’t speak freely or seem disoriented
* Guests who insist on little or no housekeeping
Through Marriott’s training, hotel workers learn to observe and take notes about what they remember and then report their suspicions to a manager, who may then contact law enforcement. For their part, law enforcement officials say that this training helps enhance security in their community because greater awareness can lead to greater responsiveness both inside and outside of a hotel’s walls.