ECPAT-USA is pleased to announce that Caribe Royale Orlando signed the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct at their hotel on January 23, 2014. The Code is a set of six voluntary business principles that travel and tourism companies can adopt to prevent child trafficking on their property.
The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a crime that affects individuals in cities around the world. Traffickers often advertise children online and meet buyers in hotel rooms because they believe hotel staff is unaware of this crime. However, by signing the Code, Caribe Royale Orlando sends the message to traffickers that this will not be tolerated at their property. Caribe Royale has already trained it’s staff in all properties on identification and appropriate response mechanisms for potential trafficking situations.
The Caribe’s signing was initiated through a discussion with the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who actively supports anti-trafficking efforts. They approached the Caribe to host their annual convention but requested that the Caribe sign the Code. Upon learning about the issue and how their property could get involved, the Caribe was eager to become a member. “The Caribe Royale Orlando is excited about this initiative and becoming a member of the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct,” boasted Donna Smithberger, Director of Human Resources for Caribe Royale. Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement was joined by Caribe representatives, including Eric Rosenbaum, Vice President, Sierra Lodgings, Inc. Gerald Urquiola, General Manager, Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center Donna Smithberger, Director of Human Resources, Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center John Murray, Director of Sales, Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center.
Top Row: Donna Smithberger, Director of Human Resources, John Murray, Director of Sales Bottom Row: Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement, ECPAT-USA, Eric Rosenbaum, VP
Sister Patty Johnson, Executive Director of the U.S. Federation, explained their decision to host their event at Caribe Royale Orlando, “Putting an end to human trafficking is an important ministry for the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph. We keep this serious moral and human concern in mind with every decision we make. Therefore, when we began to prepare for our major convention in the summer of 2016, we looked for a hotel or hotel chain that shared our interest in stopping human trafficking. We are pleased to hold our event at the Caribe Royale because they embrace our commitment on this issue. They have trained their staff to be vigilant for the warning signs of human trafficking at all their properties. Taking this further step of signing the ECPAT Code of Conduct illustrates their sustained commitment to this issue. We urge other groups who share this commitment to hold their events at this socially conscious hotel chain.”
Nix Conference and Meeting Management, also a member of the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct played an instrumental role in facilitating the Caribe Royale Orlando’s membership to the Code. As the meeting planner for the event, Nix liaised with the Caribe to get them informed about Code membership. Kimberly Ritter, Senior Account Manager and Coordinator of Nix’s initiative to fight child sex trafficking remarks, “As a meeting planner, we are happy to welcome Caribe Royale Orlando among our hotels who have signed the Code. It is important that hotels are aware that child trafficking and exploitation can happen anywhere and that staff must be prepared to respond to potential situations. Nix Conference and Meeting Management urges hotels to become aware of the issue by establishing anti-trafficking policies, training their staff, and signing the Code.”
In observance of Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month, Caribe Royale Orlando will be designated one of ECPAT-USA’s Tourism Heroes.
About ECPAT-USA: 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. For more information, visit www.ecpatusa.org. For more information about becoming a member of the Code, please contact: Michelle Guelbart ECPAT-USA 718.935.9192 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Caribe Royale Orlando: At the Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center, business and pleasure go hand in hand. From the very beginning, we’ve redefined and elevated the standards of the meeting, conference and family vacation experience in Florida.
ECPAT-USA ©January 2014