Illinois Business Journal: Nix Conference Management honored for child exploitation battle

Illinois Business Journal: Nix Conference Management honored for child exploitation battle November 1, 2017

ST. LOUIS – Nix Conference & Meeting Management of St. Louis has been honored by ECPAT-USA as a top member of The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

Named for the third year in a row, Nix is among just 21 companies in the U.S. to receive this designation “for their exceptional work to integrate child protection practices into their businesses in 2016.”

For the past five years, Nix has urged meeting planners worldwide to help end sex trafficking in hotels. Nix staff members inform all customers about the issue of trafficking and address the issue of trafficking with the management of every hotel where they do business. Nix also provides annual training for employees and presents workshops and seminars for stakeholders.

Last year, the social action organization that Nix founded, Exchange Initiative, released the TraffickCam app, which enables travelers to anonymously photograph hotel rooms and upload data to a national database that will help law enforcement and investigators locate victims. Developed with researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, TraffickCam has been downloaded more than 136,000 times in just over one year. The TraffickCam database now contains more than 2.84 million photographs from more than 254,000 hotels.

“The first time we helped law enforcement identify a hotel where a trafficked child had been photographed we knew how valuable our travel experience would be in the fight against sex trafficking,” said Molly Hackett, principal of Nix Conference & Meeting Management. “As a socially responsible company, we use our professional resources to create awareness of domestic minor sex trafficking of children.”

A form of modern day slavery, sex trafficking forces children and adults to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Most victims are recruited when they are just 12 to 14 years old, coerced through drugs, violence, debt bondage and intimidation. Up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year, according to Ark of Hope for Children. Hotels are common venue where traffickers exploit their victims making the travel, meeting planning and hotel industry uniquely positioned to help prevent and disrupt sex trafficking

Nix Conference & Meeting Management, based in St. Louis, manages meetings, conferences and trade shows for associations, religious organizations, businesses and nonprofits. Nix has managed events on four continents and in 17 countries since 1985. Visit www.nixassoc.com.

Illinois Business Journal © November 2017

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