Choice Hotels International Partners with ECPAT-USA to Fight Child Trafficking by Signing the Code


Rockville, MD -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/04/2015 -- Choice Hotels International joins ECPAT-USA's mission to end child slavery at the source and take further measures to prevent and protect children from human trafficking by joining the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code). The Code is the industry-driven tourism initiative in preventing child trafficking. They signed The Code on April 29th 2015.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are nearly 21 million people around the world trapped in modern day slavery. In the U.S. alone, there are at least 100,000 American children at risk each year. Unbeknownst to management, hotel rooms can be used by traffickers to run their operations. They are seen as an anonymous setting to meet buyers.

Members of The Code develop ethical policies against the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. Choice Hotels' Board of Directors adopted an anti-trafficking policy in 2010 and the company is strengthening their anti-trafficking training program for franchisees. The training, available on Choice University, will help hotel staff identify and respond to suspicious activity that may occur on a hotel property. ECPAT-USA joined Choice Hotels at their 61st Annual Convention in Las Vegas to begin raising awareness with attendees.

"Choice Hotels has a firm belief in ECPAT-USA's values and mission of preventing and protecting children from human trafficking," said Steve Joyce, president and CEO, Choice Hotels. "We are dedicated to collaborating with ECPAT-USA to raise awareness around this horrific crime."

"With franchised hotels in all 50 states in the United States, Choice Hotels' commitment will greatly influence awareness on this issue," said ECPAT-USA's Director of Private Sector Engagement, Michelle Guelbart. "We applaud Choice Hotels for their work and look forward to spreading the word with their franchisees."

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc.® is one of the world's largest lodging companies. With more than 6,300 hotels franchised in 35 countries and territories, we represent more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of December 31, 2014, 603 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company's Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge® and Rodeway Inn® brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet our guests' needs. With more than 22 million members and counting, check out our Choice Privileges® rewards program to see how you can reap the benefits of being a member of the Choice Hotels® family.

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ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 73 countries.

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