April 28th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

In the news: Hotels, cookies and a different type of latte

Check out a round-up of the fight against slavery in the news:

Hilton hotel vows to fight child sex trafficking

Hilton Worldwide, the well known hotel chain, is joining the fight against child sex trafficking, USATODAY reports on its website.

Hilton is signing the tourism code of conduct, written by ECPAT International, a global network created to "end child prostitution and trafficking." It is only the second U.S.-based hotel to do so, along with Carlson, parent of Radisson, Radisson Blu and Country Inns and Suites.

The code’s goal is to protect children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries worldwide. By signing the code, Hilton commits to educating its staff on how to identify potentially illegal relationships involving children at their hotels, and teach staff how to take proper action.

Carol Smolenski, executive director of ECPAT’s USA division, in a statement said, “Some companies fear that associating with the tragic reality of child sex tourism will hurt their corporate brands or public images. The actions of Hilton Worldwide and Delta demonstrate that in fact taking a strong stand against child exploitation and trafficking is good for business."

Girl Scouts refuse to sell cookies

Two young girls are striking out against a long-time tradition: Girl Scout cookies. Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva of Ann Arbor, Michigan, stopped selling Girl Scout cookies in 2007 because of questions over the palm oil used in the cookies and possible connections to child and forced labor, according to Annarbor.com.

The girls learned about it after working on a public service project to bring awareness to endangered orangutans in the Southeast Asian island of Borneo.

Recently, Tomtishen and Vorva have partnered with the Rainforest Action Network to try to pressure the Girl Scouts of the USA to stop using the palm oil in its popular cookies.

The companies that bake the cookies began using palm oil as a healthy alternative after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required trans fats to be listed on nutrition labels of manufactured goods. A spokesperson for the Girl Scouts told Annarbor.com that the girls’ efforts are fantastic and that they embody everything the organization is about. But, two bakers the organization uses have no plans to change the recipe.

Coffee shop serves a different type of latte

A coffee shop in California is taking action to help fight sex trafficking worldwide.

Origin Coffee & Tea, a Sacramento coffee house fully staffed by volunteers, will donate some of its profits to organizations fighting sex trafficking.

Owners Mark South and Chad Salstrom are currently deciding on how much of the profits will be donated. They hope to be able to open ten more coffee shops in other cities and continue to help save victims of sex trafficking.

"The goal would be that we would be able to raise as much money as we can to send overseas to save and rescue these girls," South told the Sacramento Bee.

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. prism

    Each year by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of girls and boys are trafficked globally. Child trafficking is a global issue.
    Very few people are actually aware of how large the problem is. Even if people are aware, they generally turn a blind eye towards the entire situation. For this reason, the level of awareness needs to be increased drastically.
    "Sold: An MTV EXIT Special", a gripping documentary presented by Indian actress and UNFPA Ambassador, Lara Dutta. The Program introduces the tragedy of trafficking in South Asia where thousand of young girls and boys are sold into modern-day slavery and shows how each one of us can help to prevent modern-day slavery.
    To watch this documentary online visit cultureunplugged

    April 29, 2011 at 2:41 am | Reply
  2. Fred Jones

    Do the girl scouts who are protesting the palm oil harvested by forced child labor (slavery) know about Hershey Chocolate's refusal to stop buying cocoa from The Ivory Coast - and the cocoa plantations there where child slavery is a normal daily routine? Obviously not, or they would be raising a stink about it. I have been boycotting Hershey and all it's subsidiaries for two months now. Do your research, girls.

    April 29, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • sam

      wow way to be too harsh on a couple of young girls who very much have their hearts in the right place, i think theyre on the right track so quit being so self righteous

      May 13, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  3. Andrew

    Moldova is the primary country of child orphans mainly girls being sold into sexual slavery. Over 800,000- 18% of the 4 million population is involved in trafficking. An organization that is stopping it by saving these girls before they are trafficked, Stella's Voice organization thinks that why not save these kids at the top of the cliff from becoming a child slave. They say that only 1% of children are saved when in trafficking, organizations spend millions only saving 1-10%. why not spend the same amount building homes and preventing the issue of trafficking and the percentage of kids saved would be 95% – also saving their lives from being rouined from ever being trafficked. www stellasvoice.org has two girls homes and one boys home- helping 46 girls and 15 boys. They plan to build more to save any orphan boy or girl who is in risk of being trafficked. They have done more than any organization in Moldova. Please check them out- what they are doing can be used all around the world to save more children!

    April 29, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Khairul

      sort of they put a cap on it, from what I know, and it's stopped but rappaently it could start up again since the cap is a somewhat of a temporary fix. I'm not exactly sure if it's completely stopped or if some is still leaking out but from what I know, it's mostly contained.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
  4. Worked in Asia

    We should put public pressure on the companies in Asia whose business customs include freely handing out gifts of sexual services to their business guests. Of course, the receiving party's employers deserve public scrutiny as well, especially since a very large number of them are American and European companies.

    Many of the sexual providers involved are young girls (and boys) and because many of these Asian companies are doing so well financially, the sex traffickers they depend on can expect a very steady, and growing, source of demand.

    May 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  5. Annexian

    I'm more concerned with how America's collapsing.

    A few more years and rich foreign tourists might be coming here to take advantage of OUR women and children the way one administration after another has sold us out to Globalist Bankers.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Joe66

      hate to tell you they all ready are.

      In San Diego, very up scale neighborhood, young girls are being befriended then manipulated by people around the school who voluteer and try to introduce these kids to opportunities for their future. (kids in the arts taken up to LA to meet the up and coming)
      Then before you know it they are gone.....into drugs and prositution once they are hooked. If your a special white girl the hold on to you until you are 18 and they can run the legal rules 18 you can do what you want. Then your out the door to someone who wants a natural blonde young lady.

      June 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Reply
      • Razvan

        On the cover of The Strangers, it states peiisrnd by true events. The movie is actually INSPIRED by three true events. The person knocking on the door is based off of the director's personal experience. When the director was young, someone knocked on the door of his home. He answered, saying the person they were looking for did not live there, and the person left. The next morning, all of the unoccupied houses in that area were broken into and robbed. Next come the Keddie Cabin Murders. This event was used used with the 911 call with the blood everywhere and the mysterious killers. The Keddie Cabin Murder was a terrible thing, but not what the entire movie is based off of. The next INSPIRED event was Charles Manson. The male stranger, although his face was covered, was supposed to resemble the face of Charles Manson. Hope this helps clear up some of the confusion about the basis of The Strangers that several people appear to have.

        April 9, 2012 at 11:58 am |
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    May 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Reply
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