tv Human Trafficking in Travel Tourism CSPAN May 7, 2018 3:02pm-4:03pm EDT
we expanded it to nonviolent felony cases. that program has a recidivism rate of only 35% and over the last six years has saved the county 68 years of jail bed days. we have the largest trained squad of ci, tt officers in the united states. between 2010-2017, my two largest agencies that we keep data on handled 83,000 -- >> we're going to leave the last few minutes of the discussion on mental health and criminal justice. you can find it online at c-span.org. we take you now to the helsinki commission meeting at the russell office building. >> this briefing hosted by the helsinki commission for security and cooperation in europe and by the congressional human trafficking caucus. my name is allison parker. i'm general counsel for the
helsinki commission as well as one of the ordinary they tors for the congressional human trafficking caucus, both of which are cochaired by congressman smith. congressman smith needs little introduction within trafficking circles. he has been fighting human trafficking for over two decades. he's the author of the traffic victims protection act of 2000, as well as the most recent reauthorization just last year in july called the frederick douglas traffic protection act. >> thank you very much, allison. it is a privilege to be here. i thank you for your leadership on human trafficking. it has been extraordinary for so many years. immateri i want to thank you for that, allison. and i want to thank our
distinguished panel and the insights we'll glean from what they have to tell us this afternoon. i want to thank you for joining us today. according to the international labor organization, human trafficking in the private economy generates about $150 billion in illegal profits per year. 16 million people are exploited in labor trafficking. 4.8 million are exploited in sex trafficking. and patrol capproximately 4 mil others are in state imposed trafficking. women and girls account for 99% of sex trafficking and about 58% are victims of labor trafficking. the stories you will here today show that it has been happening right under our noses. it's not just over there. it's in the united states. it's in every one of our gra congressional districts and
other countries as well. you'll hear from these panelists who are really on the front line in trying to mitigate and end this horrific cruelty. in 1998 i introduced the comprehensive legislation signed into law in the year 2000 called the trafficking victims protection act. it was a very hard sell. there were a lot of people who thought it was a solution in search of a problem. when you talk trafficking to u.s. attorneys, they would say, oh, you mean drugs, right? we'd say, no, we're talking about human beings, especially who are reduced to commodities for exploitation over and over again. tough sanctions for governments that failed to meet what we call minimum standards prescribed in the alleglegislation. the legislation codified very strong jail sentences and asset
confiscation for traffickers here in the united states. on april 19th the indictment of allison mack of the tv series "smallville," -- every 3-5 years we build on the original tppa of 2000. 2018 is just another year where we're trying to update and strengthen our comprehensive legislation. we've introduced the frederick douglas bill. it passed the house almost a year ago. hopefully the senate will take it up soon and get it down to the president for signature. inspired by nancy rivard's work with the airline industry, one section of the bill will tie eligibility for airline contracts to fly u.s. government
employees with whether or not they have a system in place, a protocol. it's not absolute, but it will give a very strong situational awareness. we will also tie it to what's happening in the hotel industry, because we do know that u.s. government employees all over the country are staying at hotels. we want to make sure that there's a protocol in place there as well, a situational awareness training. if you see something that looks wrong, it's not right, you will report upon it. just this year sweeping legislation was passed. it's ann wagner's bill that sta
trafficking. some of the worst online slave markets went dark and the cfo of back page plead guilty to child sex trafficking. a couple of years ago we passed megan's law. she was brutally murdered and raped by a convicted pedophile who lived across the street. it took eight long years but we got the international megan's law passed. now we notice countries when a convicted pedophile plans to travel, that person is notified to that country and they can take whatever appropriate steps, which usually means they're not allowed into that country. so far about a year now it's been in effect, 3600 sex offenders with sex offenses against children have been noticed to these countries and many have been turned back and said, you will not come to our
country and abuse our children in secrecy. i again want to thank this very distinguished panel. allison is going to do the introductions to each and every one of them. these are the expert who ws who made all the difference in the world and i thank you. >> thank you, congressman smith. we have michael mckuhn. he oversees the 40 council members. he also heightens the public's familiar with human trafficking and its identifiers. the blue campaign, if you see something say something, he raises public awareness on indicators of terrorism and terror related crimes and how to recognize them. >> thank you very much. can even hear me?
excellent. first i want to thank you for the blue campaign authorization act passed unanimously through the house and the senate. greatly appreciate your support on that. that is a big first step for us in the department of homeland security to be able to codify that type of office so we'll be there in perpetuity to eradicate this crime. that's the whole point of this table and all the work we're doing. we're not trying to fight it. we're trying to eradicate human trafficking. one of the things that's so fulfilling is to know when we work in the spaces that we do, the type of responses i get from the private sector. i do my work with the hospitality industry. we've been able to introduce a hospitality tool kit. it's a two-way communication. it's a way for us to get an understanding of what it is they're dealing with and how the
federal government can help them combat this crime. when we work in these spaces, one of the things we're really trying to do here at the blue campaign is to make sure people kind of take a moment and look at things in a way they might not have looked at it before. one of the things we have to deal with is the why. why is a funny little word. it can oveither paralyze us oth empower us. we try to empower people in the blue campaign to be able to take that action they so desperately need. those moments that give us pause, there's a reason why they give us pause. we have to explore that. what here doesn't feel right? what is that gut check that doesn't seem right? what am i seeing? that's where the blue campaign is able to come in and help introduce the hospitality industry to the homeland investigations department. it might not necessarily be a 911 call but they know that
something's going on that's not necessarily right. there's other aspects of the blue campaign that we work on as we well, not only with our transportation industry. we go across the 22 components composed of dhs and the interagency work that goes on with it so we are able to make sure we have a unified front when dealing with this. the greatest honor of being at the blue campaign and doing this is the victim centered approach that we take to. how we handle this horrific crime and every piece of product that we esend out has survivor input. i think that really makes an important aspect of what we do.
i think that we're able by getting this kind of victim centered approach but also to get that survivor input x because they might be victims at one point but when they work with us at the blue campaign they're survivors. to be able to work with them and hear their story and give a voice to those who have been voiceless for so long has been one of the most rewarding works of public service. i think that's it for my intro. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you, mick. next up we have tracy breeden, the director of safety communications at uber. he lea she has worked to create trafficking education for drivers. she also authored uber's first safety tips for riders.
tracy is a subject matter expert in sex crimes and domestic violence, drawing from nearly 15 years as a former police officer and detective. we're so grateful to have tracy with us today. >> thank you for having uber here today to speak about this very important issue that affects all of our communities across the globe. uber connects millions of people across the globe every single day. every single day across the globe we're doing 15 million trips. think about how many people that is coming into contact with one another. we know that our drivers are uniquely positioned to really be
able to identify not only victims of human trafficking but to be able to prevent this. we know that we play a significant role and we want to play that significant role in helping prevent this in our communities and finding ways that we can work with our national partners to make a difference in this space. in 2015 uber partnered to be the first company in the on demand space to sign the code. with that we started to change our policies, our community guidelines to have zero tolerance for human trafficking on our platform. then we tried to find out how can we use our innovation and our technology to help raise awareness to help educate in this space, to also help prevent this in our communities that we serve. we worked with organizations and partners of the mccain institute as well as thorn and polaris to
raise awareness around the national hotline out there. we wanted our drivers to know if somebody's happening in their vehicle, what would it look like, what would human trafficking look like. we started first by educating and helping raise awareness with our drivers about what it is. i can tell you as a former police officer, most people in our communities don't even know this is happening, they don't know what it is, they don't know what it looks like. the first thing we have to do is then them understand what it is and help them realize this happens in our communities each and every day. no community is immune from it. she helped us develop those tips specifically to that platform, what should drivers look for when there's somebody in their car and how can they take action. by taking action, we educated our drivers on calling 911 first and foremost when you're in a safe position.
sometimes you're just not going to know if it raises to the level of 911. you might have this feeling or this suspicion that you're seeing something. that's where the national hotline comes in with polaris. polaris can partner with us to get that information to police. we also rolled out driver events across the nation to educate our drivers to pull in local organizations as well as law enforcement and our national partners to talk about not only that this is a national issue and what it looks like in that specific community. working with those partners to help educate and raise awareness. we also did information around the super bowl. we were very careful that people understand this is not something that's just attached to big events. this is something that's attached to every day in america and across the globe. those are some of the things
we've been working on. we partner with thorn. we provide our engineers to be able to help thorn develop technology to catch traffickers online. we're always thinking about how can we utilize the people in our organization that have a skill set and how can we working with our national partners and other folks in this space to come up with solutions, ideas and innovative ways to help combat this on a global level. we're also rolling this outside the united states. for the first time in january we sent our messaging and our tips out to nearly a million drivers in the united states. we're now rolling that out internationally and working in canada and mexico. canada doesn't have a national hot hotline but are working on getting a hotline this year around october or november. we're working with polaris to be a part of that, as well as the same thing in mexico.
i was just talking to nancy who's doing training. i'm sure she'll talk about that, in guatemala. that's exciting to hear. thank you for having uber here. >> thank you, tracy. we next welcome nancy rivard, the president and founder of airline ambassadors international. as representative smith mentioned, she first brought the concern about human trafficking
on our flights to his office in 2009. she has been working tirelessly with the department of transportation and dhs since that time. we've seen wonderful results. >> thank you so much. so i'm the president of airline ambassadors. we're a nonprofit organization that has led advocacy on human trafficking awareness since 2009. when i went to congressman smith for assistance in getting the word out to airlines. and when the airlines didn't really respond, we took it upon ourselves to develop the first industry specific campaign or training on human trafficking awareness, which we just completed our 70th airport training in hanada airport in tokyo last week. our work will be highlighted at the release of the new guidelines at the end of this
month and is being highlighted this week at the meeting in bangkok as well. because of the faa reauthorization act in the united states in 2016, airlines are required to train flight attendants. most of them are utilizing the blue campaign's excellent online materials. delta is still first and out front. in 2018 they launched an enhanced training for polaris, initiated an apprentice program for trafficking survivors, hosted an event to inspire new employees and also local ceos as well as new signage in the airport. this year american airlines joined delta as being a signer of the code of conduct.
jetblue was also rekd recognized at the general meeting last year in cancun. both air asia and air emirates initiated a major launch of training last year. copa and aero joined the international campaign. airline ambassadors provided training in sacramento last year. the airport is proactive for awareness. in february sacramento american airlines agent denise miracle noticed two girls, 15 and 17 who were traveling on a one-way ticket to meet a man they had met on instagram. both their parents thought they were spending the night with each other. her alertness saved those two girls from an uncertain future. congress can help by
strengthening the laws to encourage airlines to provide training to all employee groups, including agents, pilots and more. funding should be increased so blue campaign can provide training to staff of all 33 airlines. the online trainings are very good, but many employees do not pay close attention and are not taking the issue seriously. last month on a flight from rome to chicago, all eight flight attendants in the back of a 767 were sure that a 50-year-old man was trafficking a 7-year-old girl. they went to the cockpit and shared this information and even pointed in the airline pilot's manual where they're supposed to radio to the airport ahead. the pilots refused saying this has never been mentioned in pilot training and we are not going to take the chance. earlier last year also the agents in houston where we had
provided human trafficking awareness training at the airport, checking out to go home, they said when is somebody going to train us. we see trafficking every day. we just saw it this morning and we don't know what to do. i visits airline operations to ask one of the workers there what he would do if a pilot had radioed in a potential human trafficking case. he said absolutely nothing, has nothing to do with aircraft security. many training is needed for all employee groups. training staff of the 33 major airlines should include actual trafficking survivors as we do in all our trainings to make the issue real in motivating people to emphasize it. airports also play a key role in awareness. we are helped chicago, las vegas
and san francisco establish a video for all airport employees in the online badging office. atlanta, houston, minneapolis and sacramento have also been very proactive. a dhs ad campaign is in most of the customs areas. the tips line app that we developed and give out at our trainings has received 1,000 tipped since we unveiled it in the last two years. however, many airports have not been receptive to training like los angeles and miami. they have said training is not needed and there are no resources to support it. we know, though, that training is needed. dana hubbard, one of our trainers notice add womd a woma outside a bathroom in miami airport. the girl said she didn't want to
get on a plane. the man had bought her a ticket the night before in a bar. she didn't want to get on the plane. she wanted to go to new york and go home to her mother. donna contacted the airport police. the airport police weren't trained properly and they intimidated the girl so she just said everything was all right. it was donna who took the initiative and got the girl home to her mother, saving her from a future. the human trafficking investigations and trafficking institute has one of the best trainings out there for law enforcement. most airports and police departments are reluctant to use their limited training funds on human trafficking awareness training because it's not mandatory at the state level. training resources need to be increased for the training of travel industry personnel. motivating the private sector. although the private sector is critical in this fight, airlines do not truly understand or
appreciate that human trafficking awareness is needed and are hesitant to integrate new policies into their corporate cultures. they are nervous that vigilante flight attendant wils will make false accusations and they will end up in a lawsuit. we sent a letter to 24 ceos of travel companies last march encouraging them to take an extra step also to hire human trafficking survivors. not one ceo responded except for the american bus association, which is a shoutout for their social responsibility. the critical infrastructure of our transportation system can no longer be used as a tool to implement human trafficking. it's the fastest growing crime in the worldli lingworld. it is also a cabin safety issue.
in the words of of the association of professional flight attendants, largest flight attendant union in the world, they say, we are committed not the only preparing our membership to recognize and report suspected incidents of human trafficking, but also to raise public awareness of the program. putting an end to human traffic willing require a coordinated effort and the commitment of the entire transportation industry. thank you. >> thank you, nancy. i'd like to welcome next carol smolinski. she's one of the founders of end child prostitution and trafficking. she's been working in the field of children's rights for 18 years is a leader in the area of commercial sexual exploitation
and child trafficking. she oversaw the development of the first research project on child trafficking to new york city and two other research projects about commercial sexual exm-employeploitation of childr. carol and ekpat have been instrumental working with hotel and lodging associations for decades with the code. >> thank you, allison. good afternoon, everyone. i'm very happy to be here. i actually am much older than that introduction implied because i've been actually at this for 27 years. i guess i have to edit my bio.
27 years ago ecpat began advoca advocating. i am very proud to talk about today how much progress we have made since then. our first success back in 1994 was working to pass extra territoriality edge legislati i made it possible to prosecute an american in the u.s. for exploiting a child in another country. this law was significantly strengthened in 2003. i'm also very proud to say that u.s. law enforcement does spend a lot of time enforcing this law. they've been very proactive. this month a florida man named david lynch was sentenced to 330 years in prison under one of these laws for having exploited children in the philippines. the expansion of the tourism
child protection code of conduct, created in 1998. we introduced it here in north america in 2004. the society is a set of six voluntary steps that companies can take to protect children from sexual exploitation. carson company was the partner right from the start back in 2004. it took several years to get more companies to be willing to pitch in. in 2011 wyndham and hilton both signed the code of conduct. today every large hotel chain has signed the coade. also two of the largest domestic air carriers american and delta have signed the code of contact.
let me tell you one story about a security agent to worked at a hotel in massachusetts. i'm going to call him benjamin. his hotel was so well trained that the minute a trafficker entered the property they implemented the protocol and his whole team knew what to do. raymond, the trafficker, was head of an international trafficking ring, who it was later found out had been selling kids at hotels. he tried his luck at ben's hotel but he was stopped in his tracks. he had brought two children to ben's hotel. instead of being abused they were identified and raymond was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. spreading the word to hold associates is crucial. ecpat partnered with marriott to expand training for their associates. the training is now available
through the american hotel and lodging association and used by hotel brands across the industry. marriott branded hotels alone trained over 335,000 associated within 15 months of requiring the training. 335,000 people were trained by marriott within 15 months. imagine if every hotel brand required training. according to a 2017 nationwide survey of hotels, over half of the u.s. hotels are trained to help prevent child trafficking. this is a huge development that we're very proud of. more information about our work with the hotel industry is in our report called "no vacancy for child sex traffickers." while we have come very far, we still have a long way to go. in 2016 ecpat pub accomplilishe
on the trafficking of children. the study's 47 recommendations set the stage for the next phase of our work. also sharing copies of that with you, the executive summary and recommendations are outside on the table and also on our website. one of the most important recommendations calls for all businesses, not just those in the travel industry, to make steps to protect children from sexual exploitation, that all of them adopt child protection policies, train and join ecpat's code of conduct. we are delighted about the new provisions introduced by congressman smith calling for u.s. employee travel to take place with companies that have signed the code. in addition, we are developing a new training for companies that manage corporate travel and
events. this will bring information to travel managers at companies across the private sector. it means that big companies like apple or ford or google have travel managers. those travel managers contract with a company to manage all of their global travel for all of their executives. and we are now starting to train our travel partners about how to talk to those companies about having a policy about training their staff about what child exploitation looks like to make sure that all of those people traveling around the world know not just how to travel safely and responsibly, but how to spot potential trafficking cases and what to do if they see them. a woman i'll call jenny attended a session hosted by merit's travel. they were having a business
meeting in mexico. one of the awareness raising sessions was about human trafficking. on her way home from that conference in mexico, she saw a woman with a plastic bag as luggage who looked disheveled and not quite right. she thought there was something wrong so she reported her suspicions. she was right. the girl she saw was a human trafficking victim and she was rescued because of this woman. of course, the sexual exploitation of children also happens outside of the context of travel and tourism. one of the fastest growing areas that children are exploited in is through the production of child abuse imagery commonly called child pornography. most people are not aware of the vast extent of this problem. the cyber tip line received over 10.2 million reports in 2017. the young age of the children, the internet watch foundation reported that 55% of the images
f were children 10 years old and longer. content depicting the rape of of children is up. this is a huge horrific problem that we are yet to grapple with both as a country and globally. we will soon be issuing a report for recommendations that include things like stronger background checks for anyone who comes in contact with children, more oversight of the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers, among many other recommendations. it's a complex and growing industry that need a range of responses, but that definitely includes government regulation and oversight. as we talk about legislative priorities, i want to thank the members of the house who led the charge in spite of opposition
from the tech industry. it does call for the pathway for additional regulation to counter the huge growth of children being exploited online. secondly many of the offices have been instrumental in moving along tv p.a. authorization. the house passed bill was particularly strong and made a number of adjustments that we strongly supported. we understand they are very close to a final conference agreement. we've made great strides in the protection of children overall of these years. as the problem of child exploitation constantly adapts to a changing world moving off the streets and online going behind the doors of private residences, we have to be very adept at responding. we cannot lag behind the traffickers and abusers who spend every minute trying to get around the laws. the travel industry is one of the biggest industries in the
world, which is a means forrics employati for exploitation to take place. i am looking forward to working with all of you to continue this fight. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, carol. next i'd like to welcome craig coalcut. he joined the association after nearly eight years in the united states senate and is t. craig has been very helpful as we've refined t ed the tvpra.
>> thank you for having us here today. thank you, congressman smith, for your years of devotion and passion on this issue. tha i also want to recognize other champions we've worked with that pushed through legislation on the hill. senator blumenthal, representatives wagner, walters, bass and many others who have worked on this. to step back for a moment, i joined the american hotel and lodging association just over four years ago after working on scli capitol hill. i got a phone call from a senate office asking what our industry was doing on human trafficking.
i was honestly taken aback and confused. i didn't know why they were calling us even though i had worked on trafficking on capitol hill, i hadn't come across the connection to hotels. i told him i'd look into it and get back to them. i started asking around the office, asking our members. i was incredibly pleased to find out we had indeed been very engaged on this issue. perhaps the most significant single action was in 2014, the year before i joined the association, we worked with carol and her team at ecpat to design a training program, an online training module geared specifically for hotel employees on human trafficking. carol mentioned in 2016 this was revamped with ecpat again and marriott as well as polaris. it's new and improved version of that program. as she said, marriott has
trained over 335,000 employees already. i know a couple of our other major members have trained over 50,000. just from those three companies alone, you're talking 450,000 people trained in the past couple of years. our efforts on trafficking really focused on two key pillars. the first, training. the other is raising awareness. we do whatever we can to do that. these two things work together. the more people are aware, the more they're going to have their companies get trained, have their colleagues get trained and work with others in the industry to increase training. in terms of raising awareness, we've taken a number of steps. i speak on panels like this one whenever i have the privilege of being invited to speak. two weeks ago i was in atlanta
speaking with the attorney general of georgia who has been a leader on the issue of human trafficking at an end that was attended by over 200 people, almost all hotel employees who were there to be trained by the georgia bureau of investigation. t there are other trainings out there. sometimes they're done by law enforcement. dhs and blue skpcampaign has materials and training available. we're happy to have people trained however works best for them. we've also invited people to come speak at our events. a couple years ago when we had our big legislative fly-in, we
invited one of carol's employees michelle to speak at our conference. i believe that year she was only the person on the speaking agenda who was not either a member of our industry or a member of congress. just shows the value and priority that we place on trafficking. in addition, we take whatever opportunities we can around, as others have mentioned, the super bowl just to put out alerts just to remind hotel employees, hotel owners, guests to be vigilant. we make sure to be clear that trafficking doesn't just happen around big events like the super bowl. i think some question whether there is even an increase. it does present an opportunity to raise awareness. one other step we took was a
couple years ago was to issue hotel industry principles on human trafficking. we did this again to elevate it as an issue within our industry and also to give some of our members general guidelines and direction as to how to tackle this problem. that is probably most helpful for our small members. our association has members such as marriott and hilton and hyatt, but we also have small businessmen who own one hotel and may be sort of more difficult for them to grapple with these large issues like human trafficking. we frequently remind our members, big and small, of the importance of this issue. so we're proud of what we've done in the industry. it's been a commitment over a long period of time. carlson hotels, which is one of our major members, was the first signatory to the ecpat code of
conduct. we continue to seek whatever opportunities we can to raise the issue, to raise awareness and to get more hotel employees trained. thank you and look forward to a discussion. [ applause ] >> last but not least we have nick shapiro. nick is the global head of risk management for airbnb. he served on the national security council staff and was a white house sounter terrorism and homeland security aide in the last administration. nick? >> thank you. first, i want to start by thanking you for having airbnb here and putting this together. thank you so much representative smith for all of your leadership on this issue. it's great to be here with such
esteemed colleagues as well. i'm already learning things from everyone on the panel. i'm the global head of trust and risk management at airbnb. previously i was the cia deputy chief of staff and a senior counter terrorism aide to president obama. when i left government about three years ago, i had no idea where i wanted to go or what i wanted to do. i've been to yemen more times than i've been to san francisco and did not know what a tech company was going to be like. i very quickly learned that i was a little different, i think, than everyone else. my meetings throughout silicon valley, the meetings i was in with airbnb, i realized that everyone at airbnb were so optimistic, brilliant but so optimistic. i quickly found out that maybe i brought a healthy counter balance to the extreme optimism. i quickly became the
one wanted to invite to meetings. it's a partnership that works. it has to at the scale we're operating at. my team is in charge of making sure the community and airbnb is safe. we've had 300 million guest arrivals to date. we've got close to 5 million listings in 191 countries. that's more than the top five hotel chains combined. we take this extremely serious. trafficking is a scourge that absolutely has to be eradicated. one of the first things that impressed me about airbnb is the commitment the company had to making sure we were going to use all of our technological advances to fight that issue.
we put together a five-point strategy for how we were going to make sure that the problem of trafficking doesn't become a problem of airbnb. as the new kid on the block, we have the ability to leverage the expertise and the experience of those who have been doing this for decades. we try to put that to use and we developed this five-point strategy. the first is partnerships. again, people have been doing this long before airbnb existed and there's so much good work out there. we needed to go out there and find that work. we worked with the blue campaign, which they do have amazing materials. we've worked with thorn. we just signed a partnership with polaris. these organizations have brought to us a skill set and expertise that frankly the company didn't have internally. we've been almost like a vacuum cleaner just sucking up as much as we possibly can and making sure we set out this program the right way. second, as lots of people have
mentioned, trainings, education and awareness. we've taken all of the lessons learned, all of the training materials and implemented programs to teach all of our front line employees what they need to look for in order to spot trafficking as well as what they can do when they come across a survivor, to make sure that it's handled the best way possible. the third pillar of our strategy is i think the most exciting. it lets us go on offense. it's our technological advantage. you know, airbnb is lucky. we sit at the intersection of technology, travel and hospitality. we have some of the brightest minds in silicon valley. every single reservation in airbnb is scored ahead of time for risk. we learn machine learning, behavioral analysis, predictive analytics and instantly evaluating hundreds of different signals looking to see if there's anything suspicious about a reservation so we can stop suspicious behavior before it actually takes place. we can actually stop the
trafficking before it happens in an airbnb. we've got ten years now of address, you know, history or reservation history in a sense so we're able to teach our model more every single day what looks different about this reservation, and we learn from polaris and from the blue campaign and from everyone else who has done this, and we feed all of that information into this mod he will, and it's become an unbelievably successful tool that we're making smarter every single day. we use photo dna. so every single photo, message, picture on airbnb gets screened through photo dna, and it matches with necmax, child exportation database and make sure there is no database and if there is we troot out. we background check every single hosting guest in the u.s. and every hosting guest all over the world gets screened against financial sanctions and global terrorist watch.
traffickers have tried to take advantage of the internet. they use the anonymity of the internet, but it's a double-edged sword for them because they need the internet to also advertise and to make known where people can go to do this abhorrent act, so that's where we go. airbnb, not only do we do all of this risk scoring and the background checks that i talked about, but we are screening the dark web. we are using the sites that prosecutors tell us that we learned from the cases that they run against. coordination with law enforcement intelligence tell us, so we're on the very sites, and we're looking for the bad actors. you have, to again, advertise in some way so often there has to be a contact number. contact number information given. ip address. we're screening and looking for, an if any of that shows up on airbnb, again, we can stop it actually before it happens and really help ensure that airbnb
is a place where this behavior is not going to be tolerated and it's not going to continue to grow. fourth is our coordination with law enforcement and intelligence. we work with interpol, with a lot of my former colleagues throughout the world and we take every opportunity we can to seek out advice from them on what we can be looking for. again, we have the technological advances. we have the tools that we need to feed information to. we need to teach it the right things to find, and we can make such a great dent in this problem we think. fifth is probably the most fun to be honest. proactive communication and public engagement. you know, talking about a horrible issue like trafficking is not what people want when they are going on airbnb to plan their adventurous travel or their dream vacation, but we need to. not talking about this and hiding it or sweeping it under the rug, hoping it doesn't
become a problem is not going to do anything except encourage the problem to growth and to fester. it's not going to help eradicate it. that's why we don't do that. we talk about this very hard topic as publicly as possible because i think it's a deterrent. we want the traffickers to know that we are looking for them, that we're screening our site for them. kind of it's not going to happen on my watch type of thing. we want them to know that we are all over these dark websites. we are everywhere that they think they are hiding. that's where we go, and we are looking for them to make sure they don't do this on airbnb. so, again, there's so much more work that needs to get done. we're learning more every day. we want to learn from the folks who have been doing this a lot longer than we have. we're excited to learn more, and i'm going to spend more time here tomorrow meeting with a lot of folks on the hill and a lot of bosses with the folks in this room and i'm looking forward to hearing their suggestions and
looking forward to gain some time with folks on the panel and happy to answer some of their questions. >> thank you, nick. i would like to open the floor to questions from the audience first. questions burning. if so, we have a mike to your right. please identify yourselves, and if not i so appreciate the very practical work each of you do in fighting trafficking within your specific industries, and carol and nancy, you shared stories of success. craig, do you have a success story that you would like to share? >> sure. we hear them, you know, as we talk to our members or drive around the country and make the news, sometimes they don't, one that sticks out in my mind is one that took place in new orleans last year, and there is a 12-year-old boy who was with
two older guests and a hotel employee who had been trained. something looked a little wrong, thought it looked off, and that's often the key as you heard before. there are specific signs that can be taught. we have a lot of them in our training, and sometimes -- i think the most important part of our training, getting a little bit off topic and sometimes the most important part of the training is just reminding hotel ploys and airline employees and whoever it is that this is a problem that you can help and that you should help, that you have to help, and so when people see something, they know to act, and then when you give them the specific instructions then they are even bet per equipped to act so this hotel employee noticed a young boy with two older men. something seemed off and she heard one of the men say i think i'm going to take this one home with me, and so, you know, the alarm bells went off and she went to her manager at the hotel. they reported it to the police,
as it's supposed to work. police came and lo and behold the boy had been missing for three days and was in fact a victim of sex trafficking, so because that have hotel employee's awareness and decision to say something to her boss, this boy was saved. i think one of the reasons it stands out in my mind is that although this is overwhelmingly a problem for women and girls, there are men and boys who are victims, and so i think it demonstrates, again, the important, of train, the importance of being vigilant and knowing that you should take action. >> representative smith. >> i'll just be end and if any others have questions, sing out. nick shapiro, would i just say if you're a buzz kill, we need more of it, and i thank you for, you know, piercing that -- you know, it's good to be optimistic, but we need people who are sober, aggressive and
realize that this is going on right under their noses so thank you for bringing your skill set to bear. all of are you just tremendous. would i ask if airbnb, you know, can you have so good of a chilling effect that the traffickers decide to go elsewhere which is a good thing as long as elsewhere is also doing a simultaneous standup of these efforts. if i could ask you has this led to any prosecutions, or do you think it's more of a fact that the bad guys feel don't go there because you'll get caught? i would also ask, if i could, tracy, how does an uber driver actually do it? do they do it while the -- while they are going from one area to another with their fare or do they do it as soon as they let that person off, and how do they do it suspectticiously so that the person in the back doesn't take some retaliatory action? is there a code? how do they do that, and are
there examples where police respond quickly because we all know uber is there on the spot. i've been amazed any time i'm in washington, you contact uber and they are there. how quickly are the police there to ascertain whether or not it's a bad situation that they are involved with, and i would ski carolyn and maybe nancy if you could just speak to what kind of pushback do you get? we know and you testified at previous hearings that i, both of you, that there were some airlines unwilling to do it. american airlines was one of them and now seems not to be the case, you, you know, that fear of some kind of legal obligation or vulnerability. is that over with? do you realize because of the good work of what the blue campaign is doing as well, that they are on the side of the angels and protection and they should not be acquiescence and indifference is really going to
be on the side of the traffickers. they are obviously the conduit from people here to there. first to nick. >> thank you, and thank you for all the attention you focus on this issue. i would say two things. one, we absolutely don't want to kick the can down the road. i want to make that crystal clear. you know, we have to do everything we can to prevent it from happening at airbnb, but we do that so we can help eradicate is across the travel and tourism industry, and that's frankly where we've seen a lot of help from polaris. polaris so early i think in us this risk scoring that we do and technological advantages that we throw at this problem, and they are actually connecting us to delta, to marriott and to other parts of the travel industry and are trying to broker how can we use some of our technological advantage with folks who have been doing this for so long and can help feed this on both ways
and we help polaris on that. as for prosecutions, it has led to prosecutions and one thing i recall is there's a specific prosecutor known in trafficking circles in king county. this guy is like a genius. like his life's mission. sounds like people know who i'm talking about, and we got together and started -- realized from my familiarity in counterterrorism and how we went after terrorists online that we should be attacking traffickers the same way, so we've been starting to develop programs with this prosecutor about how you can use personas, and you can get on these chat rooms in a way that really haven't been done in the trafficking fight, and you can use incentivizing. he talks a lot about how it's not enough to just, you know, you obviously can't arrest the survivors, but you -- you can't arrest your way out of the problem, just like you can't
kill your way out of a counterterrorism project. you need to change behavior. he's doing amazing things working with us that reminds me so much of the same programs we were do, and we're helping feed the information and technology into him who, again, is treating these chat rooms like, you know, it's going fishing in a sense, and it's picking them off one by one and turning them against each other. it's changing behavior. they have done amazing things that run ads on the platform that you think in a sense are positive in a sense for a trafficker, and it entices them and then all of a sudden up will come, you know, the picture of a little girl whose father can't go to her birthday party anymore because he's now a registered sex offender, not because he was the trafficker, but because he was the john. it's changing the behavior of the buyers and the sellers, and it has been wonderful as airbnb to be a part that have conversation and to use the expertise, you know, that we have from a counterterrorism