The short-term rental platform Airbnb recently expanded its law enforcement portal to include nine languages in an effort to combat child trafficking. The announcement came on the eve of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11.
According to the company’s website, the portal allows law enforcement agencies around the globe to submit emergency and non-emergency requests for information about Airbnb users securely and privately in nine languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Korean and Japanese.
Previously, the portal was only available in English.
The company said it will grant requests to verified law enforcement agencies in accordance with guidelines and privacy policies “when we receive a valid legal request or in emergency situations.”
According to the portal, requests from law enforcement must come from official law enforcement email domains and should contain the email addresses, names, date of birth, and all or known physical addresses and phone numbers of the data subject to help Airbnb identify the subject. Law enforcement must then provide the reason for the request, its importance to an investigation and the nature of the emergency. Agencies must also justify the urgency of the request and explain why they are not seeking an ordinary information request through a judge.
In addition, the company claimed that Airbnb was the “first home sharing platform to sign ECPAT’s The Code to help combat child exploitation.”
The international anti-child-trafficking organization ECPAT partners with hotels like Accor, Choice, IHG, Marriott International, and Booking Holdings to fight child exploitation through guidelines dictating “platform policies, supplier contracts, employee training, stakeholder engagement, awareness raising and annual reporting on progress,” Airbnb stated.
Airbnb is also offering training for its 30,000 employees to combat child exploitation.
Furthermore, the company announced a partnership with the human trafficking nonprofit Polaris to include languages such as Ukrainian, Arabic, Tagalog, Russian and Malay in its global modern slavery directory.
“Child trafficking is still too common globally and all of us have a role to play in fighting human exploitation which is why we are proud to be part of ECPAT’s Code and share in their fight by taking these important steps,” Director of Community Policy and Partnerships Juniper Downs said in a press release. “We are committed to using Airbnb’s global reach to support efforts to improve awareness, help those who need it, and assist law enforcement.”
Human trafficking has been a significant problem affecting the travel and hospitality industries. Increasingly, law enforcement experts warn that traffickers may opt to use short-term rentals instead of hotels or motels because they can offer greater privacy and anonymity.