JourneyWoman Webinar: Human Trafficking and Travel — What You Need to Know

by | Dec 29, 2023

human trafficking and travel
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Last updated on January 24th, 2024

Featured image: As keen observers of people and behaviour, women travellers can play an important role to prevent human trafficking | Photo from Envato by friends_stock

Human trafficking happens everywhere — learn from experts how you can help

January 2024 is Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States. To help women travellers better understand human trafficking, JourneyWoman is hosting an educational webinar on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET. Moderated by JourneyWoman CEO Carolyn Ray, panelists include Nikki Routley, Ally Global Foundation, women’s safety expert Tracey Breeden, Disrupt the Landing, and Adriana Hidalgo, ECPAT International/ The CODE. (Check local time zones here.)

In 2023, JourneyWoman partnered with Wild Women Expeditions to support of Ally Global Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides safe housing, education, and aftercare for survivors of human trafficking. Last summer, we hosted our first Move For Freedom fundraising event in support of Ally. This year we have more activities planned to help raise awareness of this important issue.


 “As travellers, we can help disrupt and prevent this from happening. If somebody is acting in a way that does not act like the typical traveller, the typical traveller is going to be the first to notice that. You’re a community with multiple eyes, all over the place, and you can see something that somebody else may never see. But you would never want to intervene. Because that person can be very dangerous and with such a power and control dynamic, the victims are in a state of fear.”  — Tracey Breeden, women’s safety expert and JourneyWoman Women’s Advisory Council member 

What is human trafficking? 

No country is immune to human trafficking, and as caring and as keen observers of people, communities and cultures, women travellers can help make our world safe for everyone. That includes understanding the pervasive and growing trend of human trafficking. As a major economic driver, travel creates 1 in 10 jobs around the world. There are several travel products that put vulnerable people at risk of exploitation, such as voluntourism, orphanage tourism or mega events.

Often described as a modern-day form of slavery, human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and/or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour.  Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking that involves recruiting, moving, or holding victims for sexual exploitation purposes. his is not to be confused with human smuggling, which involves illegal border crossings, human trafficking often occurs in our own neighbourhoods, communities and even our own homes.

Human trafficking webinar panelists

Hosted by JourneyWoman Editor and CEO Carolyn Ray, this webinar will feature three expert panelists in the area of human trafficking:

Nikki Routley, Ally Global Foundation

Nikki Routley is the VP of Operations at Ally Global Foundation, where she works closely with local partners in Asia to ensure Ally meets all reporting and compliance standards. She has also taken a particular interest in educating women on how they can support vulnerable populations through the work Ally engages with.

Nikki has more than 10 years of experience working in finance—primarily in the tech industry, focused on financial planning and analysis. She has managed multi-million dollar budgets and worked closely with executives (across marketing, engineering and operations departments) to align financial goals with their overall corporate strategy. Nikki is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a BBA in Finance and Economics from Simon Fraser University.

Tracey Breeden, Disrupt the Landing

Tracey Breeden is queer activist, entrepreneur, coach, speaker and podcast host. She is the CEO and co-founder of Disrupt the Landing, LLC and former law enforcement professional, Head of Women’s Safety at Uber and VP, Head of Safety and Social Advocacy at Match Group. Tracey was Uber’s first Head of Women’s Safety and created Uber’s Global Women’s Safety & Gender-Based Violence Programs Team—the first global team dedicated to the safety of women and other vulnerable populations at Uber. While at Uber, Tracey created Uber’s first human trafficking prevention initiative, Uber’s first bystander awareness initiative utilizing a community collaboration model in partnership with law enforcement, government officials, advocates and businesses. She also spearheaded several safety and social advocacy programs including Uber’s Global Driving Change commitment and program engaging with over 200 women’s safety groups and advocacy organizations globally, resulting in several impactful internal and external partnerships and global initiatives.

Adriana Hidalgo, Private Sector Engagement Manager, ECPAT International (The CODE)

Adriana Hidalgo is a Lawyer and Master in Program Management and Social Policies. She has extensive experience in coordinating development projects related to the prevention of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking, the promotion of children’s rights, labor migration, and access to justice for vulnerable populations. She has worked for different agencies of the United Nations, mainly for the International Labour Organization, where she worked for more than 20 years. As a Consultant in the Socio-labour Policies area, she has worked for ILO, UNHCR, IOM, UNFPA, public institutions and non-governmental organizations, trade unions, and business chambers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“These past two years, due to the COVID-19 crisis, have undeniably influenced the nature of human trafficking and the number of victims. UNODC’s 2021 Report on the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trafficking in Persons and Responses to the Challenges shows that traffickers took advantage of the global crisis, capitalising on peoples’ loss of income and the increased amount of time both adults and children were spending online. It is, therefore, paramount to increase our efforts to prevent and tackle this increasingly complex and hidden crime..” (Source:  United Nations)

Resources to learn about human trafficking

If you think someone is a victim of Human trafficking, contact:

Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, 1 833 900-1010, 9-1-1, or your local police

National National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888

In other countries, call emergency services, or organizational hotlines. For a full list when travelling, consult the NO MORE Global Directory.

US State Department

The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking


Public Safety Canada

Check Hotel websites for their statements on modern slavery like Hilton, Marriott and IHG.

JourneyWoman is a member of The CODE, which is operated by ECPAT, the only international NGO network solely dedicated to the fight against the sexual exploitation of children. The Code (short for “The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism”) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.  Learn more here.

the code human trafficking

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  1. sandy biback

    Carolyn, thanks for doing this!!!! Sorry I couldn’t be on the call-I was in Edmonton @GOWest presenting on Human Trafficking within the hospitality/conference/events/sporting events professions. I’ve skimmed this and suggest you point out that the National Number you have listed is in the US. And for those travelling outside of US/Canada, if they go to this website, they can find a similar number, info pretty much anywhere in the world.
    for contacts in all countries
    US: 1-888-373-7888
    Mexico: 01800-5533-000 We also suggest travellers look for signage in hotels, airports, etc. @MPAHT we are collecting signage from everywhere in the world-not sure what we are going to do with them yet! I’d also like to mention that February is Canada’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day & you might want to watch out for an announcement out of Ottawa – wish I could say more right now! on Feb 22nd. And MPAHT is also a member of The Code and has been since our inception almost 8 years ago. Thanks for always having our women society best represented


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