Nix Conference & Meeting Management Honored for Efforts to Prevent Child Sex Trafficking

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Nix Conference & Meeting Management has been honored as a 2014 Top Member by the internationally recognized Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) for their “exceptional work to integrate child protection practices into their business.” Nix is one of just 13 U.S. companies and 43 worldwide to receive the honor.

“Nix and the other Top Members for 2014 are true leaders of child protection in tourism,” said Andreas Astrup, general manager of The Code. “Their commitment to keeping children safe coupled with ECPAT-USA’s tireless efforts representing The Code in the United States raises awareness of child sex tourism crimes both within the tourism industry and among the wider traveling public.”

In 2012, Nix led the charge among meeting planners worldwide by initiating and signing the first-ever Meeting Planners Code of Conduct with ECPAT-USA, which implements The Code in the United States.

Last year, Nix launched Exchange Initiative, an organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking, and hosted the first national conference “IGNITE: Sparking Action Against Sex Trafficking” in March 2014. Exchange Initiative is developing a database of resources to educate and empower criminal justice officers, first responders, educators, corporations and faith-based organizations.

“ECPAT-USA congratulates Nix on being recognized as a 2014 Top Member of The Code,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “From day one, Nix has pushed the boundaries to raise awareness about the hospitality industry’s role in fighting child trafficking. The success of their IGNITE Conference was a testament to their dedication to ending child slavery.”

Nix has an extensive reach in the hotel industry, researching more than 500 hotels and booking more than 21,000 room nights a year on behalf of their clients. Nix addresses the issue of sex trafficking with every hotel they contact, and includes a clause in their standard Request for Proposal inquiring about hotel policies on human trafficking.

This year, Caribe Royale joined The Code after Nix introduced them to the issue through the RFP process.

In the United States alone, at least 100,000 American children are trafficked within US borders and another 200,000 to 300,000 are at risk each year. The travel and tourism industry is in a unique position to identify victims because traffickers use public airlines and ground transportation companies to move victims. Hotels often serve as venues for sex trafficking without the knowledge of hotel management.

About Nix: Nix Conference & Meeting Management, based in St. Louis, manages meetings, conferences and trade shows for associations, religious organizations, businesses and nonprofits. Nix has managed events on four continents and in 17 countries since 1985. For more information, call (314) 645-1455 or visit www.nixassoc.com.
About Exchange Initiative: Exchange Initiative combats child sex trafficking in hotels by empowering individuals and organizations with information, networking and real resources. For more information, call Molly Hackett at (314) 645-1455 or visit www.ExchangeInitiative.com.
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 718.935.9192 or michelle@ecpatusa.org.
About The Code: The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) is an industry-driven corporate responsible tourism initiative that provides awareness, tools and support to tourism companies in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. Tourism companies that join The Code agree to take six steps that turn child protection principles into concrete operational procedures that can help keep children safe. Visit www.thecode.org.

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