Hilton Worldwide and The Global Fund for Children Partner to Protect Children from Trafficking
MCLEAN, Va., April 9, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Today Hilton Worldwide and The Global Fund for Children (GFC) announced the Hilton Worldwide Anti-Trafficking Fund. This fund will support highly innovative grassroots organizations working every day to help children who have been or are at risk of being trafficked. Over the course of this initial three-year project, an estimated 1,500 children in Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom will be reached.
“Partnering with The Global Fund for Children allows us to support organizations that are on the front lines of protecting children from exploitation and abuse,” said Jennifer Silberman, vice president of corporate responsibility at Hilton Worldwide. “GFC has a proven track record of identifying and supporting high-potential organizations and helping them serve children in need through sustainable programs. Working with GFC and their grantees, we continue to address local needs on the ground to end the global atrocity of child trafficking, a core part of our commitment to strengthen the communities where we live, work and travel.”
According to the International Labor Organization, more people are enslaved today than at any other time in human history and an estimated 5.5 million children and youth are engaged in forced labor worldwide. They are forced to be soldiers, fishermen, servants, miners, weavers, and sex workers, often far from their homes and families.
Five community-level organizations selected by Hilton Worldwide and GFC will receive annual grants of up to $30,000 as well as value-added services that strengthen the organizations’ reach and effectiveness. These services could include assistance with financial management, monitoring and evaluation and board development. Additionally, GFC will ensure that the organizations are connected with other community organizations to multiply their impact. GFC’s regional Knowledge Exchanges provide an opportunity for organizations to come together to share best practices, forge strong networks, discuss organizational challenges, and learn about broader issues affecting vulnerable children and youth in their communities. All five of the selected organizations will participate in these gatherings to share experiences and hone their programs and outreach.
“The Global Fund for Children is honored and excited to team up with Hilton Worldwide to fight child trafficking and help child trafficking survivors heal,” said Susan Goodell, CEO at GFC. “This partnership enables us to strengthen our current global network of anti-trafficking programs and increase the number of at-risk children we reach. Our grassroots partners are on the front lines in the fight against trafficking, and with Hilton Worldwide’s support, they will be able to better protect the most vulnerable children from trafficking and modern slavery.”
This partnership builds upon Travel with PurposeTM, Hilton Worldwide's commitment to provide shared value to its business and communities around the world. Hilton Worldwide signed the ECPAT Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code) supporting its six principles to prevent child sex tourism and trafficking.
The Global Fund for Children is a nonprofit organization that finds, strengthens, and supports grassroots organizations serving vulnerable children in over 60 countries. For this initiative, GFC will invest in grassroots organizations that are transforming the lives of child trafficking survivors and developing innovative methods to prevent slavery and trafficking. Among them is Home of Hope in Johannesburg, South Africa, which provides education, transitional rehabilitation shelters, and skills training to survivors of gender-based and sexual violence.
“With the support of The Global Fund for Children, Home of Hope has grown even stronger and is winning the battle against human trafficking in South Africa. Now, with the added support of the Hilton Worldwide Anti-Trafficking Fund, we will be able to rescue more girls, save more lives, expose more traffickers, put more trafficking perpetrators behind bars and give more girls and families new and meaningful lives,” said Khanyisile Motsa, founder and director of Home of Hope.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 94 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of ten world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,000 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 678,000 rooms in 91 countries and territories, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®.
About The Global Fund for Children
The Global Fund for Children finds and invests in innovative grassroots organizations serving the world’s most vulnerable children—including street children, trafficked children, refugees, and AIDS orphans—in more than 60 countries. GFC supports these organizations with financial resources, management training, capacity-building expertise, and technical assistance to help them achieve their vision, become sustainable, and reach even more children in need. To date, GFC has awarded over $31 million in grants to more than 550 grassroots organizations in 78 countries, serving more than 9 million children.