Conference Industry Collaborates to Fight Child Prostitution
On its own, nonprofit group ECPAT had difficulty convincing hotels to adopt policies against child prostitution. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, hotels are reluctant to implement codes of conduct because it gives customers the impression that the hotels have a problem with sex trafficking. By teaming up with an order of Catholic nuns and Nix Conference & Meeting Management, however, ECPAT was able to use their combined leverage to convince the Millennium Hotel St. Louis to adopt such a policy.
As reported on the public-radio program Marketplace, the U.S. Sisters of St. Joseph Federation was looking for a location for a major conference it has every four to six years. The order works regularly with ECPAT and wanted to have the conference at a hotel that had adopted the policy, but it had trouble finding one. Nix was able to identify hotels in online sex ads based on room decor and present them to hotel managers as proof that pimps were indeed using their hotels. The effort was enough to convince the St. Louis hotel to adopt the policy, launch a training program for its employees and host the nun’s conference. Millennium Hotels says it may expand the pilot program to its other hotels as well. marketplace.org