Port of Seattle expands anti-human trafficking pledge with major cruise lines

Seattle harbor with MT. Rainier in sunset, Seattle, WA, USA.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The Port of Seattle today announced the expansion of its Port Allies Against Human Trafficking (PAAHT) pledge to include Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Group, and The Center for Wooden Boats.

    The pledge was initially launched in 2023 with airline and tenant partners at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Additionally, the Port is launching a new tool for human trafficking victims to report their situation, know their rights, and receive help.

    “Expanding the Port Allies Against Human Trafficking pledge to include cruise partners is a major step in creating a whole-Port approach to fighting trafficking through our gateways,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho. “We’ve said all along that increasing awareness of human trafficking saves lives. With both aviation and maritime partners as allies, we will continue to all work together to stop trafficking through Port of Seattle facilities, and we look forward to all our aviation and maritime partners signing the pledge in the future.”

    Trafficking awareness signage and messaging at both SEA Airport and Port of Seattle maritime facilities will soon include a QR code, created by survivor-led Twentyfour-Seven Inc., that provides information to the public and helps victims of human trafficking report their situation to authorities and understand their rights.

    “The Port of Seattle is proud to be a national leader, and we are always looking for new tools to increase awareness of the signs of trafficking,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed.

    “Interrupting this insidious practice is critical and is a priority for the Commission. The new QR code-based reporting tool provides those being trafficked and the public another way to report suspected trafficking and what to look out for when they see something that doesn’t look quite right.”

    Cruise industry veterans signing the pledge

    Carnival Corporation said its North America-based cruise lines — Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, and Seabourn — were proud to sign the Port of Seattle’s pledge because it is consistent with the company’s comprehensive policies and procedures to combat human trafficking.

    “Our company operates across the world and has the privilege to touch thousands of lives every day. We recognise this brings a responsibility and opportunity to protect and foster human rights globally, which is why we work with our partners, suppliers, agents, contractors, and many others to have a positive impact,” said Robert Morgenstern, Carnival Corporation SVP.

    In addition to the first cruise signatories, new PAAHT pledge members include airport dining and retail partners Pallino and the American Express Centurion Lounge.

    Organisations that sign onto the pledge are joining the Port in combating human trafficking by:

    • Endorsing and amplifying Port-led public education campaigns on human trafficking at and around all Port facilities.
    • Promoting participation in awareness training opportunities to build staff knowledge to recognise typical trafficking signs and behaviours.
    • Educating staff and bystanders on reporting such signs and behaviours via the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

    To support PAAHT members, the Port will make anti-human trafficking training available in multiple accessible formats to any worker at Port facilities and make print and digital educational materials available in partnership with community-based organisations and survivors of trafficking.

    Pledge members will also have access to the first proprietary anti-human trafficking training developed by a port authority, which the Port of Seattle created in partnership with Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST).

    During January’s National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Port is calling on its partners and tenants to raise awareness of the signs and behaviours of human trafficking with their employees. The Port continues to be a regional leader in anti-human trafficking work — including awareness messaging and training — that began in 2018 with the Commission’s passage of the Port’s comprehensive anti-human trafficking strategy.

    (Featured Image: Seattle Harbour with MT. Rainier in sunset, Seattle, WA, USA – iStock/chinaface)

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