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USA: Carlson Hotels join end exploitation campaign

Publish Date: 01 Oct 2004

Source: CSRwire
Press release from Carlson Hospitality Worldwide

Carlson Hotels Worldwide and its Family of Hotel Brands Join Together to End Exploitation of Children and Young Women Around the World

Travelers encouraged to participate today in new fund raising program benefiting the World Childhood Foundation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - This fall, travelers can help protect children and young women at risk from exploitation all over the world just by checking into a hotel. Beginning today, guests staying at participating Carlson Hotels Worldwide brand properties in the Americas are invited to "Make Room in Your Heart for Kids" by donating $1 per night's stay to benefit the World Childhood Foundation (Childhood) - the hospitality company's new charity partner. Participating Carlson hotel brands include Radisson Hotels & Resorts(R), Park Plaza(R) Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson(R) and Park Inn(R).

Carlson, a founding sponsor of Childhood, has to date donated $1 million through the Curtis L. Carlson Foundation, plus in-kind services to Childhood. Carlson's affiliation with Childhood builds on its April 2004 announcement that it has become the first North American company to sign a global code of conduct aimed at protecting children against sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industry. Carlson's compliance with the Code of Conduct includes educational outreach to the public, of which the fund raising program is a part.

"UNICEF estimates that two million children, many of them girls, are part of the multi-billion dollar commercial sex trade," said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies. "We need to do what we can to educate people on this growing problem and help put an end to it. By supporting World Childhood Foundation through a small donation of $1 per night, our guests can contribute to a charitable effort that supports over 75 children's aid programs in 15 countries." The fund raising program will run from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2004 and thereafter run twice a year for two months at a time.

"We encourage our hotels to build relationships in their communities and the world in which we operate and this program provides a method to achieve that goal," said Trudy Rautio, president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, The Americas, who has helped develop the fund raising effort within Carlson's hotel group. "With hotels stepping forward to participate throughout North America, we will build awareness and momentum for this charitable cause as we reach out and help children around the corner and around the globe."

Founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden to serve the world's most vulnerable children, World Childhood Foundation, headquartered in Stockholm, with offices in New York, Sao Paulo and Munich, has donated over $7 million (USD) to help aid children at risk of exploitation around the world. In the United States, for example, Childhood supports:

  • YouthLink in Minneapolis, which provides prevention and intervention service for teens involved in prostitution
  • The Legal Services for Children in San Francisco that serves abandoned and detained immigrant children
  • Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, New York, rehabilitation, support services and after school activities center for sexually abused children and adolescents.

    For complete background on all of World Childhood Foundation's current projects, please visit

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