MINNEAPOLIS (April 11, 2013) — Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, today announced that it is the first company to receive the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons. This prestigious recognition was presented at a ceremony at the White House.
Human trafficking is one of the world’s fastest growing crimes with an estimated $32 billion in revenue for the traffickers and an estimated 26 million people enslaved worldwide. Conservative estimates put the annual number of children sexually exploited at two million. In the United States alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 children are trafficked for sex annually.
In order to more effectively combat this issue, President Obama directed his cabinet to work more closely across departments to expand efforts and partnerships. The resulting interagency task force involving the State Department and the Departments of Justice, Labor, and Homeland Security is the first in the nation’s history to focus on the issue of human trafficking.
The Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons is another component of President Obama’s commitment. Carlson received the award for its demonstrated commitment and corporate leadership in combating modern slavery through the adoption and promotion of business practices that seek to protect victims of human trafficking, and the development of proactive measures to train employees and encourage its partners and the broader business community to take a stand against human trafficking.
The company has been a leader and early supporter of efforts to recognize and prevent human and sex trafficking around the globe, and proactively trains its employees to be aware of the risks of sex trafficking, particularly of children.
“Carlson’s consistent and long-standing efforts to combat human trafficking have made our company a pioneer in this area, and while it is an honor to be recognized by the President for our efforts, the fight has just begun,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former Chairman and CEO, Carlson, who was present at the ceremony. “As Carlson continues to do its part, it is my fervent hope that our work will inspire others to join us in combating this crucial, global issue.”
Secretary of State John Kerry, chair of the President’s Task Force on Trafficking, said of the award, “With this Presidential Award, we honor those who have played an extraordinary role in advancing our common cause. They have been pioneers in this effort—from developing the 3P approach of prevention, protection, and prosecution in the earliest days of this movement, to championing innovations in corporate social responsibility that will help carry this work forward for years to come. This award pays tribute to their leadership and their commitment.”
Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group includes more than 1,300 hotels in operation and development, including, Radisson Blu, Radisson®, Park Plaza®; Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Hotel Missoni; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 160 countries and territories and its brands employ more than 175,000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit Carlson’s website: http://www.carlson.com.