INVITATION

Did you know that many Irish hotels have been working with MECPATHS since 2013 to counter Child Trafficking in Ireland and that numerous hospitality industry leaders have pioneered initiatives to ensure the protection of their hotels, staff and guests? We invite you to join us and our growing network of partners as we work to safeguard the Irish hospitality industry from the global challenge of Child Trafficking. Together, we can equip hotel management and staff to help protect children.

HOW DOES CHILD TRAFFICKING INTERSECT WITH THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?

Whilst we recognise that the hospitality industry is in no way responsible for Child Trafficking, we believe it has a key role to play in helping protect children.  Hospitality Industry staff are amongst those professionals most likely to encounter a victim of child trafficking.  Traffickers can take advantage of the privacy and anonymity that hotels and accommodation providers offer, using these unwitting venues to sexually exploit children.

Leading global hotel brands are becoming more aware of the ways in which Child Trafficking can intersect with the hospitality industry – and they’re taking action. Many of them have taken a proactive approach to counter Child Trafficking by prioritising training for their staff so they can be equipped with the tools to recognise and respond to Child Trafficking occurring on hotel properties. Beyond training, hotel brands are also taking leading roles in ensuring that anti-trafficking and child protection policies are put in place.

HOW CAN THE IRISH HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY RESPOND?

Partner with MECPATHS and make your hotel an Anti-Child Trafficking Champion by ensuring hotel management and staff are equipped to:

to any suspected incidents of Trafficking.

POSSIBLE INDICATORS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING

  • Child exhibits fearful, anxious or submissive behaviour - lack of eye contact
  • Dresses inappropriately given the weather and/or his/her age
  • Looks intimidated and behaves in a way that does not correspond with behaviour typical of children their age
  • Staying in hotel during non-scheduled school holidays
  • Presence of multiple computers, cell phones, pagers, credit card swipers, cameras, videos, or other technology
  • Large amounts of alcohol or a presence of drugs in rooms where children are present
  • Extended stay with few or no personal possessions
  • Being given only leftovers to eat
  • Hotel staff are denied entry into room on multiple successive days despite frequent visitors to the room
  • Excessive foot travel in/out of hotel room by non-registered guests at unusual hours
These indicators MAY suggest that a person is a potential victim of trafficking. It is important to bear in mind that the presence of one of these signs does not necessarily indicate a case of child trafficking, nor is this in any way an exhaustive list of indicators. Staff should be vigilant of situations in which multiple indicators are present.

WHAT WE DO

In addition to networking and collaborating with many other private, non-profit and statutory bodies, we directly support the Irish Hospitality Industry in the following ways:

Hotels & Accommodation Providers:

MECPATHS provides management and staff with an opportunity to learn about Child Trafficking, the potential indicators to look out for, and what to do should a suspicious situation arise on their premises.  The training can be facilitated in various ways depending on the particular requirements of the accommodation provider:

  • Classroom style presentation
  • E-learning platform content
  • Consultation in the development of bespoke training materials

Tourism Training Colleges and Universities:

MECPATHS partners with numerous Tourism Training Colleges throughout Ireland. These partnerships demonstrate a growing recognition of the importance Anti-Child Trafficking training across the hospitality industry. They also illustrate a decisive commitment to the future leaders of this industry in making sure they are well equipped to help safeguard children as best they can.  MECPATHS’ work with these colleges ensures adherence to international best practice when it comes to the hospitality industry’s global efforts to counter Child Trafficking.

Identifying the unique educational opportunity to support the learning of students in Tourism Training Colleges, MECPATHS developed a bespoke suite of learning materials in alignment with the existing curriculum. We work with students at Cork Institute of Technology, Shannon College of Hotel Management, Dublin Institute of Technology and Griffith College. We also collaborate with Maynooth University and University College Cork to help raise awareness around Child Trafficking to those studying in the fields of Social Work and Social Policy.

National Events:

Each year, MECPATHS aims to partner with one major national event or conference.

In 2018, MECPATHS worked with The World Meeting of Families to ensure their accommodation partners received Anti-Child Trafficking training.

In 2019, MECPATHS received the endorsement of The National Ploughing Championships and facilitated training at their partner hotels across County Carlow.

ANTI CHILD TRAFFICKING CHAMPIONS

GET INVOLVED

  • If you are working in a hotel or are at management-level, please do get in touch with us and we will be very happy to facilitate a training workshop for you and your colleagues. You can join our growing network of Anti-Child Trafficking Champions across Ireland.

  • If you are a student or member of Academic staff at a Hospitality Training School or College, we continue to make ourselves available across the academic calendar to present on our work, facilitate educational workshops for students and to help build safeguarding and child protection into existing curricula.

Reporting: if you see something, say something!

If you suspect a case of Child Trafficking:

In an emergency, always call 999/112 

To report any suspicions, contact your Local Garda Station

To report anonymously, call The Garda Confidential Hotline 1800 666 111 or email Blueblindfold@garda.ie

IN PROUD ASSOCIATION WITH