IHG Hotels & Resorts Supports It’s a Penalty and its Campaign Against Human Trafficking

IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, recently partnered with international nonprofit organization It’s a Penalty (IAP) to support its anti-human trafficking campaign leading up to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. Due to the prevalence of trafficking crimes around major sporting events, IAP launched its extensive awareness and prevention efforts before the February game. This month, IAP released its Impact Report stemming from those efforts.

Highlights include:

  • 14 children were identified in Los Angeles who were on the list of missing children
  • 8 minors were rescued from sexual exploitation in Los Angeles
  • Nearly 500 traffickers statewide were arrested, with more than 200 arrests made in the Los Angeles 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 spot 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

The year’s campaign also coincided with National Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January and kicked-off at IHG’s Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown. The event brought together organizations across the hospitality industry to discuss combatting the issue, including Hotel Association of Los Angeles, California Hotel & Lodging Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association, representatives from several major hotel companies and anti-human trafficking organization 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 campaign’s efforts and recognized the hospitality industry for tackling the issue on the ground. Recognizing the importance of awareness as a means of prevention, the event concluded with a live anti-human trafficking training with more than 420 hotel associates taking part virtually and in-person.

Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts said: “IHG is proud to once again partner with It’s a Penalty to not only raise awareness of human trafficking and all its forms, but more importantly, share the ways we can all prevent these terrible crimes from happening. 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.”

Sarah de Carvalho, CEO, It’s a Penalty, said: “IHG’s partnership with It’s a Penalty Campaign during the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles was critical in our fight against trafficking. 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.”

IHG also continues to work closely with a variety of organizations to share best practices and coordinate efforts around anti-human trafficking. Through its partnership with both ECPAT and Polaris – two leading anti-trafficking organizations – IHG supports various initiatives around education, raising awareness, supporting survivor programs and more. This includes IHG Rewards points donations to Polaris to help hotline callers seeking refuge from dangerous situations. Working together with industry trade groups, elected officials and nonprofits that are focused on this issue, IHG is working to effectively fight trafficking in the hospitality industry and make a real difference in communities around the world.

IHG is a global company with a presence in more than 100 countries. The company considers addressing human trafficking a key component of its larger commitment to responsible business and at the core of how it operates. Read more about the company’s position and its consistent standard across every market in its global Human Rights Policy. 

About It’s a Penalty

It’s a Penalty focuses on four key strategic areas to end human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. They run global awareness campaigns during major sporting events highlighting the telltale signs to look out for, and hotline numbers to make a report. Working in collaboration with the sports, travel & tourism industry, NGO’s and law enforcers; the campaigns are contextualized in the host cities and countries. It’s a Penalty has so far run 12 Campaigns during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Super Bowl and the Commonwealth Games, reaching over 2.5 billion people. Alongside the Campaigns It’s a Penalty has three other programmes including CommonProtect, which advocates for legal reform to improve protection from sexual exploitation and abuse for children throughout the Commonwealth countries, Student Ambassador Network, which educates and raises up university students in UK to prevent human trafficking and exploitation and co-run Safe to Compete, a programme that trains sports coaches and parents of children in Little Leagues in the USA to prevent abuse and exploitation.

About IHG®

IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

With a family of 17 hotel brands and IHG Rewards, one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a further 1,800 in the development pipeline.

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