Hyatt Commitment to ECPAT Code Seen By Investors as Positive Step to Curb Slavery Risks

Dec 11th 2015

Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and shareholders of Hyatt Hotel Corporation are commending the hotel chain for its decision to become a signatory to the ECPAT Tourism Code of Conduct  to help end the commercial and sexual exploitation of children.

Because countless children become victims of trafficking at hotels across the country, hotel staff are in a unique position to identify and prevent trafficking incidents. The Code sets forth commitments companies can implement to help thwart these egregious crimes, including staff training to recognize potential trafficking victims. Prior signatories to the Code include top hotel chains Accor, Carlson and Hilton.

In a press statement released yesterday by Hyatt, Brigitta Witt, Hyatt’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility said, “Given Hyatt’s ongoing efforts to proactively fight human trafficking, we feel that ECPAT’s Code of Conduct is a reflection of that commitment. Standing against human trafficking is a natural extension of our commitment to positively impacting the communities where we operate.”

Hyatt partnered with anti-trafficking NGO Polaris to conduct mandatory anti-trafficking training for employees in its 627 hotel properties in 52 countries. The program has resulted in the training of 54,000 Hyatt employees and has since become integrated into the company’s on-boarding and compliance training protocols. According to the release, Hyatt has also blocked onsite internet access to several websites commonly used for human trafficking across all U.S. hotels.

In December 2010 the Sisters of the Holy Names called on Hyatt to address human trafficking by adopting a code or human rights policy that protects children and incorporates staff training to identify potential victims, and to report incidents to authorities.Sister Judy Byron, OP, of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, who leads the dialogue with Hyatt said, “In our meetings over the past 5 years it was evident that Hyatt took the issue of human trafficking seriously and welcomed our expertise and support. We applaud the company for signing the Code, an important step in its continuing efforts to eradicate human trafficking.”

“We  are pleasedwithHyatt’s expanded commitment tohelp end human trafficking,” says Pat Zerega, of Mercy Investment Services, and chair of the ICCR human trafficking committee. “Signing the Code was the next step in Hyatt solidifying its commitment to end human trafficking. Hyatt is to be commended for its zero-tolerance stance on human trafficking as well as its programs and trainings for staff at managed hotels.”

About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

Currently celebrating its 44th 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 AUM have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world.