Airbnb Fights Child Trafficking With Expanded Law Enforcement Portal

Airbnb Fights Child Trafficking With Expanded Law Enforcement Portal

Airbnb Fights Child Trafficking With Expanded Law Enforcement Portal

Skift grip

Child sex trafficking and exploitation is a problem in the travel industry, and companies must be activists in the fight against these abuses.

Denis Schaal

Airbnb has expanded its law enforcement portal to nine languages ​​as part of the platform’s efforts to combat child exploitation, the company said.

The portal, which aims to provide global law enforcement with a secure channel to submit urgent and non-emergency requests for Airbnb user data, now handles such requests in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese. , Portuguese (Brazil) Korean and Japanese. It was initially only available in English.

Airbnb said it only grants requests to verified law enforcement agencies in accordance with its privacy policies and guidelines “when we receive a valid legal request or in emergency situations.”

News of the expansion of Airbnb’s law enforcement portal came amid an announcement during National Human Trafficking Prevention Day in the United States on Wednesday that Airbnb has become the “first home-sharing platform to sign ECPAT’s ‘Code’ to help combat child exploitation”, especially in the travel and tourism industry.

ECPAT participants include hotels such as Accor, Choice, IHG and Marriott International in more than 100 countries that are committed to combating child exploitation. In seeking to eliminate this child trafficking, signatories must adhere to guidelines covering “platform policies, vendor contracts, employee training, stakeholder engagement, outreach, and annual reporting.” on progress,” Airbnb said.

While Airbnb may be the first short-term rental platform to sign with ECPAT, several online and offline travel agencies and other brands are also pursuing countermeasures to thwart human trafficking.

For example, Booking Holdings, according to its 2021 Sustainability Report, is committed to providing safe, harassment-free and violence-free travel experiences, as well as our approach to addressing the risk of modern slavery, forced labor, child labor and human trafficking. in our value chain.

In 2021, Expedia Group said it participated with the World Travel & Tourism Council in the publication of industry-wide guidelines on combating human trafficking and trained employees as part of a partnership with Business Ending Slavery and Trafficking. Expedia said that over the past 18 months it has also worked with partners such as airlines and cruise lines, using algorithmic and fraud operational analytics, to help them better identify and take action against situations of human trafficking.

A 2020 Skift story questioned the effectiveness of various anti-child-trafficking promises or if they simply provided brand-friendly messaging.

Airbnb has not provided any data on the number of incidents of sex trafficking or child exploitation it has uncovered on its platform, although such reports from guests or hosts are rare.

Beyond expanding the language capabilities of its law enforcement portal, Airbnb said nearly 30,000 employees and partners have signed up for training sessions to combat sexual exploitation, among other things. measures, it has partnered with Polaris to make its global directory of modern slavery more widely available, including in other languages ​​such as Ukrainian, Arabic, Tagalog, Russian and Malay.

“Child trafficking is still too common in the world and we all have a role to play in the fight against human exploitation. That’s why we are proud to be part of the ECPAT code and to share their fight in taking these important steps,” said Juniper Downs, Director. community policy and partnerships at Airbnb. “We are committed to using Airbnb’s global reach to support awareness efforts, help those in need, and assist law enforcement.”

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