Women religious, shareholders raise awareness about child sexual exploitation during the Super Bowl
January 31st, 2012
Building off of last year’s successful campaign, Celebration without Exploitation, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) are once again coordinating with local law enforcement to raise awareness of the risks of child sex trafficking during the Super Bowl.
While football fans pour into Indiana next week to cheer for their favorite teams, traffickers in the sex trade are gearing up for their most profitable weekend of the year. Because trafficking is reported to peak at large sporting events and hotels are the prime venue for prostitution, shareholders have initiated a multi-pronged campaign to keep hotels trafficking-free during Super Bowl weekend and beyond.
ICCR members from the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility for Indiana and Michigan (CCRIM) are coordinating volunteers to deliver materials to local hotel management with specific guidance on how to spot and report suspected trafficking incidents to local law enforcement.
Said Sr. Ann Oestreich of CCRIM, “This was a real grassroots effort on behalf of the 11 CCRIM congregations which included contacting 220 hotels within a 50 mile radius of the Stadium. We asked hotels what they were doing to educate their staffs, and we are hand-delivering anti-trafficking materials to hotel management.”
ICCR members have been in dialogue with companies in the travel and tourism sector regarding anti-trafficking policies for several years.
Said Mark Regier of Everence Financial, “As investors, we believe that human trafficking poses a significant business risk, wherever and whenever it occurs. Unlike the annual Super Bowl Championship, human trafficking takes place year-round across the globe.”
ICCR’s campaign began with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when investors wrote the hotels, airlines and event sponsors in their portfolios to alert them to the risks of trafficking and request that they adopt formal human rights policies including the ECPAT code against child sex tourism. The Super Bowl initiative, which began last year, is a continuation of this campaign.
Said David Schilling of ICCR, “In light of the upcoming London Olympics, we are already coordinating with investor groups in the U.K. to guard against labor and sex trafficking during the games and we will continue to press all companies to uncover and eliminate human trafficking abuses within their spheres of influence.”
“The clandestine nature of child sex trafficking is what makes it so difficult to investigate and prosecute,” said Deputy Attorney General Abigail Kuzma, director of Consumer Protection for the IN Attorney General’s office. “Indiana’s tougher anti-trafficking legislation, poised for approval ahead of Super Bowl weekend, is both timely and welcome. And we are grateful to CCRIM for enlisting the support of area hotels to shed light on this horrific crime. Once people know what to look for, traffickers will have no place to hide.”
A telenews conference for members of the media will be held on January 30th at 2pm EST. Participants should call (866) 200-6965 and enter the participant PIN code 26308996#.
Contact: Veronica Welch CWR & Partners, LLP 508-222-4802 Ronnie@cwrpartners.com
Currently celebrating its 41st year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for change. Its 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in assets have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world.
About Everence Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education. To learn more, visit www.everence.com or call (800) 348-7468.
About CRRIM The Coalition for Corporate Responsibility for Indiana and Michigan (CCRIM) is a faith-based investor group comprising 11 orders of Catholic women religious. CCRIM engages in socially responsible investing in collaboration with hundreds of other faith-based investor groups through the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.