How business can curb scourge of trafficking


The business community has a vital role to play against the scourge of sex trafficking, says Marilyn Carlson Nelson. She shares how Carlson has spearheaded the battle, and offers advice for businesses looking to join the fight.

The Minnetonka-based firm was the first North American travel company to sign the industry’s international Code of Conduct to end child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes, Nelson said in an interview.

“One of the things we talk about is that there is this growing commitment of business to partner with the public sector and nongovernmental organizations on one of the largest problems the world faces,” said Nelson, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy and recipient of Human Rights First’s Beacon Prize. The best result “is when the corporate skill set is most closely aligned with the problem. In our case we train thousands of people around the world, and adding this training was consistent.”

Traffickers like to use hotels to ply their trade, since they can get in and make some money and then move on before they attract too much attention, TIME magazine reports:

Neighbors tend to take a dim view of brothels and report them to the authorities. “It happens in hotels that are five star hotels and it happens in the sleaziest, slummiest rent by the hour hotels,” says Tammy Lee Stanoch, VP of corporate affairs for Carlson. Perhaps because of this, some hoteliers were early activists in the anti-trafficking cause, including Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

Nelson has appeared on the Forbes magazine list as one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” and was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News and World Report, the McCain Institute notes.

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