INVITATION

Many Irish hotels have been working with MECPATHS since 2013 to counter Child Trafficking in Ireland and numerous hospitality industry leaders have pioneered initiatives to ensure the protection of their hotels, staff and guests. In 2019, MECPATHS was approached by a number of Service Sector industries to support them in their efforts to counter child trafficking through their work. As the only project addressing child trafficking in Ireland, an extension of our focus area was undertaken and a number of key relationships were fostered with both national and multi-national companies.

We invite you to join us and our growing network of partners as we work to safeguard the Irish Hospitality and Services Sectors from the global challenge of Child Trafficking. Together, we can equip management and staff to help protect children.

HOW DOES CHILD TRAFFICKING INTERSECT WITH THE HOSPITALITY AND SERVICES SECTORS?

Whilst we recognise that the hospitality and services sectors are in no way responsible for Child Trafficking, we believe they can have 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 and  Traffickers can take advantage of the privacy and anonymity that hotels and accommodation providers offer, using these unwitting venues to sexually exploit children.

Within the Services Sectors, many companies who provide products and services are uniquely placed to engage and interact with children and young persons who may be at-risk of being trafficked. The training of front-line professionals within the Services Sectors is crucial in the identification of vulnerable children.

Leading global brands are becoming more aware of the ways in which Child Trafficking can intersect with business– 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 safely report suspicions of Child Trafficking. Beyond training, responsible business brands are also taking leading roles in ensuring that anti-trafficking and child protection policies are put in place.

HOW CAN IRISH BUSINESSES RESPOND?

IN PROUD ASSOCIATION WITH

POSSIBLE INDICATORS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING

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 and Services Sectors in the following ways:

Irish Business Partnerships:

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 present itself to them.  The training can be facilitated in various ways depending on the particular requirements of the business:

  • Classroom style presentation
  • Bespoke E-learning modules hosted on MECPATHS own platform
  • Development of unique training materials

Third Level Institutions:

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, Technological University Dublin (formerly Dublin Institute of Technology), Cork Institute of Technology and Griffith College.

We also collaborate with Maynooth University and University College Cork to educate undergraduate and post-graduate students in the fields of Social Work and Social Policy on Child Trafficking.

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.

In 2020, MECPATHS partnered with The Children’s Rights Alliance to mark International Children’s Day. The production of an animation supported the projects strategic goal of raising awareness on Child Trafficking with the wider public.

ANTI CHILD TRAFFICKING CHAMPIONS

GET INVOLVED

  • If you are working in an Irish business, 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 Third Level Institution, 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