Hilton Worldwide and Vital Voices Global Partnership Launch Global Freedom Exchange, a Collaboration to End Child Trafficking

For BusinessWire on June 26, 2013—
Today, Hilton Worldwide and Vital Voices Global Partnership announced that they have joined forces to help end child trafficking. Together, they have launched the Global Freedom Exchange, an innovative, multi-faceted educational and mentoring program targeting emerging and established women leaders. Program participants are on the forefront of global efforts to prevent and respond to the crime of child trafficking. Global Freedom Exchange is intended to create an international network of activists.

As a fundamental element of the Global Freedom Exchange, Hilton Worldwide and Vital Voices have brought together a select group of 26 women leaders from 13 countries, to participate in a two-week interactive learning and networking program. This event spans three U.S. cities – areas that have strong national and international resources focused on addressing human trafficking – Washington, DC, New York City, and Dallas, Texas. Activities include opportunities to meet with government officials and NGO leaders to provide donors with knowledge about funding and other support needs and to learn about collaborating with local law enforcement.

“Hilton Worldwide takes an aggressive stance against child trafficking, and we continually seek innovative partnerships that will enable us to make a real difference on such an important issue,” explained Kristin Campbell, EVP and general counsel, Hilton Worldwide. “We are very proud to support Vital Voices and invest in the crucial efforts of these amazing women. We believe that each can make a vast and deep impact, and we are fully committed to helping them realize their full leadership potential.”

Program participants are established or emerging leaders recognized for their passion and commitment to ending human trafficking and their innovative approach to this global issue. They include founders, advisors, legal counsels and program managers from non-governmental organizations. The women come from:

  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Macau
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United States

“The goal of this program is to provide participants with specific knowledge, skills and relationships that will benefit their professional development, their respective NGOs and the communities they serve,” explained Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. “The program will also develop an ongoing international network of activists working together to prevent and respond to the scourge of child sex trafficking throughout the world.”

This multi-year partnership between Hilton Worldwide and Vital Voices is part of Travel with Purpose™, Hilton Worldwide’s promise to providing shared value to its business and communities around the globe. It is an extension of the organization’s existing work to address child trafficking worldwide. Hilton Worldwide is the second U.S. multi-brand hospitality company to sign the ECPAT Code of Conduct and is signatory of the UN Global Compact. In addition to child trafficking awareness and training programs for hotel employees, the company also supports the capacity of non-governmental organizations to increase their programs to reach trafficking survivors.

Together, Hilton Worldwide and Vital Voices will provide a network of support, connecting each participant with Hilton Worldwide hotels in their communities to explore partnerships that will enhance their on-the-ground work. Five $10,000 grants will be awarded to the most collaborative and innovative projects addressing the Global Freedom Exchange’s mission to end child trafficking worldwide. Participants will also become members of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, which includes over 14,000 innovative change agents in more than 140 countries.

For more information about the Global Freedom Exchange and to learn more about program participants, visit http://www.vitalvoices.org/blog/2013/06/global-freedom-exchange-working-end-child-sex-trafficking.”

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