|By Business Wire||
|September 27, 2012 12:30 PM EDT||
Sabre Holdings, a global travel technology company, today launched “Passport to Freedom,” its comprehensive initiative seeking to unite the travel and tourism industry in the fight against human trafficking. Announced by Sabre Holdings Chairman and CEO Sam Gilliland, actress and advocate Jada Pinkett Smith, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, and Tekla Roberts, a human trafficking survivor and program advocate, the initiative aims to raise awareness about human trafficking issues; advocate for legislative change; and provide opportunities for leaders in government, travel and non-profit organizations to collaborate on an issue affecting up to 27 million people globally.
“Sabre has a presence with all segments of the travel sector from agents and airlines to tour services and travelers, and everything in between, putting us in a unique position to act as a driving force in raising awareness for this cause,” said Gilliland. “Human trafficking impacts countries around the world, including every major city in the United States. Passport to Freedom is part of our effort to rally the travel and tourism industry to not only end these crimes, but to also help those who are affected rebuild their lives.”
“Passport to Freedom” addresses these issues by focusing on three primary objectives: to educate, collaborate and advocate. The program will also include a long-term scholarship and employment program providing job training to human trafficking survivors for careers in the travel and tourism industry.
Additional elements include:
- Training Sabre’s 10,000 global employees so they are better informed on the issues
- Raising awareness among Sabre’s airline, hotel, travel agency and corporate customers
- Educating travelers so they can identify and report potential trafficking incidents
- Updating Sabre’s company policies to reflect its stand against this horrific crime
- Partnering with non-profit, travel and government entities supporting the fight against human trafficking
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood has launched an initiative to address the role of transportation in human trafficking. Under his direction, the Department is training 55,000 DOT employees in the U.S. and abroad. The Department is also working with the transportation industry to raise awareness about the issue.
“We are working with all our modes of transportation to help stop the flow of human trafficking, but we can’t do it alone,” said Secretary LaHood. “Raising awareness about human trafficking can save lives, if everyone gets involved. Public/private initiatives like the one Sabre is launching can make a real difference in ending this terrible crime.”
Secretary LaHood sent a video message of support to attendees of a workshop Sabre hosted on Thursday to discuss and develop solutions to human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a $32 billion trade, making it one of the most lucrative, widespread and fastest-growing global crimes. The travel and tourism industry is often an unwilling and unknowing participant in these crimes as millions are trafficked within and across domestic and international borders and kept in hotels or other public housing for commercial sex or forced labor each year.
Actress and advocate Jada Pinkett Smith, who has testified before Congress appealing for federal funding to assist human trafficking victims, also took part in several events Sabre hosted on Thursday.
“I commend Sabre for its efforts to engage and educate the travel industry on the monstrous crime of human trafficking,” said Smith. “The travel industry has a huge role to play in helping to stop modern-day slavery. I look forward to working with Sabre and others in the travel industry to bring attention and solutions to the fight against human trafficking.”
Demonstrating its commitment to the overall cause, Sabre was the first global travel technology company to sign the tourism Code of Conduct, an international tourism-focused initiative against human trafficking co-funded by the Swiss Government (SECO) and other private sector investments, and supported by End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) International network, with UNICEF and the World Tourism Organization acting as advisory partners.
"This is a global problem that affects many industries, which is why we must do our part to work together and find solutions that will eradicate it," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Companies like Sabre that are being proactive in fighting this issue are an excellent example, and I encourage other companies to follow their lead."
Additional details on Sabre’s Passport to Freedom initiative can be found at www.sabre.com/passporttofreedom.
About Sabre Holdings
Sabre Holdings is a global travel technology company, serving the world’s largest industry – travel and tourism. We provide software to travel agencies, corporations, travelers, airlines, hotels, car, rail, cruise and tour operator companies through our four businesses: Sabre Airline Solutions, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Sabre Travel Network and Travelocity (including lastminute.com and Zuji). Sabre has approximately 10,000 employees in 60 countries around the world. It has large development and customer care centers in the United States, Argentina, India, Philippines, Poland and Uruguay. Sabre has won numerous awards for being a top employer and corporate citizen in Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, Poland, and the United States. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, Sabre is privately owned by Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and Silver Lake Partners. For more information please visit: www.sabre.com.