May 27th, 2011
03:40 PM ET

How to Help: Travel and tourism

Throughout the week, Richard Quest, of Quest Means Business, has tackled the issue of sex tourism - the act of traveling to another country with the intention of soliciting sex from prostitutes.  While this may seem condemnable in itself, the real tragedy occurs when these prostitutes are children who have fallen victim to sex trafficking.

We started the week off with a success story in Dan Rivers’ piece on Thai sex trafficking - the Thai Police busted a sex slavery ring, rescuing nine young boys who had been held captive and abused.  The ring leader was sentenced to 84 years in prison (later halved because the convicted cooperated with investigators and the court), and a monk who admitted to abusing the boys was sentenced to 21 years in prison.  While a definite success, there is still much work to be done.

Fortunately, there are efforts being made to put an end to sex tourism.  We interviewed several experts in the field, including John Morton , the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  He discussed the operation Twisted Traveler, which actively pursues Americans who travel abroad and abuse children.  The operation’s achievements are possible because of the cooperative relationship it has with international partners.

Several preventative efforts are under way as well.  For example, ECPAT has partnered with Accor Hotels.  As explained by Sophie Goldbum-Flak, executive vice president of Accor, has committed to raising awareness of the issue and is training its staff to identify victims and properly deal with the situation.

Jennifer Silberman, vice president of global diversity and corporate responsibility with Hilton, has also spoken to us about Hilton’s role in the fight against human trafficking.  We also heard from Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Companies, and Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General.

Nelson shared with us what her travel companies are doing to prevent the sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism industries.  The companies have agreed to train employees, report perpetrators, inform travelers of the legal penalties involved if they are found guilty, and help in the development of a global code for other companies in the industry to follow.  Taleb Rifai  also discussed what companies can do, but also what steps governments around the world can take.

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Topics: How to Help

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. cinders

    Holy Crap, somebody needs their meds.....

    May 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  2. Oh Wow

    OMG. Is that post for real?

    May 29, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
  3. Sunday

    May 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  4. Annexian

    Couldn't care less, except for the plight of American MEN.

    Why do they go overseas to some sh-thole Asian country for some fun? 'Cause their own women abuse them with fake charges of abuse and divorce laws.

    I'm not per se advocating going for children, but IMO all this garbage's main goal is is to keep American (and Canadian/European) MEN away from women overseas. They don't care about the less attractive slavery, drudgery, other exploitation. They just want to keep MEN locked up in the same decaying country with them. Heh, wish they'd spend the same effort to keep out illegal immigrants and end foreign trade, America would be a lot more prosperous.

    But keeping American/Euro Johns away does NO good. It simply gives them NO hope at all. If you think being a plaything is bad, imagine no rich USA guy who usually wouldn't hurt a woman for anything... Imagine being paid so low you starve even in the oldest profession and the johns often pummel you hard till it's a wonder if the infections in your catcher's mitt face or the countless diseases will kill you first? That's what these "Moralist Crusaders" want to send countless women and even children to, just as long as they get to keep the "White male" lonely and desperate and have to settle for them.

    June 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Shraeve

      I am glad someone is finally talking some sense. There is nothing wrong with sex tourism, as long as it is with consenting adults.

      June 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • A B

      exactly this whole anti-sex crusade is nothing more than American women wanting to keep men **** on a leash.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:50 am | Reply
  5. Roman Gil

    What Economic Recovery? Let's Get Doped Into Foreign Affairs to Forget the Failing Economy.

    In May, the American economy added the insignificant number of 38,000 jobs. America is overpopulated with over 311 million people (nobody knows how many illegal aliens) and cannot support its own population, but millions of new illegal and legal immigrants arrive each year. There is no industrial plan to bring back the millions of jobs and industries that global corporations exported and continue to export.
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    June 4, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
  6. this is true!!!

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    June 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  7. S Suvarna

    CNN's battle against modern Day Slavery deserves global support as it is widespread in many countries Ive been watching your programme on Mdern Day Slavey. I suggest that the matter should be tackled at two fronts. One is Modern Day Slavery on Traffiking of Child labour and the other is the Traffiking of Child prostution. These people who are explioting poor & innocent childen are not human beings but animals who should be severely punished. The home run by the CNN hero of the year in Nepal together with the support of Demi More and other Hollywood stars deserves our praise and admiration.

    June 28, 2011 at 3:29 am | Reply
  8. james

    Glad Hilton is taking a stand – Hyatt sure isn't – check out the hotel bar at the Hyatt Singapore or Hyatt Bangkok any night of the week after 10p and you will see that Hyatt condones a huge pay for sex business in it's establishments – assume this helps them with their occupancy rates.

    August 15, 2011 at 8:04 am | Reply
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