hotel signs code
5:17 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Hotel signs code to prevent sex trafficking

The Millennium Hotel St. Louis signed a code Tuesday to help prevent the sex trafficking of children.

The move came as nearly 900 Sisters of St. Joseph gathered for a three-day event at the Millennium.

Executive director of the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S., Kathy McCluskey, says they’re working to inform Americans about the issue of child sex trafficking.

"What we’ve discovered is when you do that people will recognize the horror of it and immediately want to learn what can be done to prevent it at every level," McCluskey said.

The Millennium signed the Code of Conduct from ECPAT-USA, an organization that works to end child prostitution, pornography, and trafficking.

The code requires creating policies and procedures to prevent trafficking and training hotel employees.

Millennium Hotel St. Louis General Manager Dominic Smart told the group the hotel was proud to be proactive.

"If our efforts just save one individual it will have been worthwhile, but we hope for more and ask more companies to see the positive social and moral implications and join the fight to eradicate the sexual exploitation of children," Smart said.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts own more than 100 hotels worldwide with 14 in the U.S.

Smart said the St. Louis hotel would serve as a pilot program.

ECPAT officials say only a handful of hotels have signed the code, and Millennium’s proactive approach is unique.