NEW YORK (June 27, 2023) — The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International have received a Freedom Award from PACT (Protect All Children from Trafficking) at the recent Freedom Awards Benefit at the Prince George Ballroom in New York City. PACT is the new name for the organization formerly known as ECPAT-USA.
Seminole Tribe of Florida member Durante Blais-Billie accepted the award on behalf of Seminole Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. and Councilwoman Mariann Billie, who were both individually recognized at the event. The award was presented by Faith Robles, an indigenous native of Mexico and survivor of human trafficking.
“The Freedom Awards ceremony is a celebration of the progress we’ve made to eliminate child trafficking and exploitation, but also a reminder of the work that still needs to be done,” said PACT CEO Lori L. Cohen. “Every day, children in the United States and around the world are robbed of their innocence and forced into unimaginable situations. We’re honored to be able to count on so many valuable partners to shed light on this issue and raise funds to support our work.”
The Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock International are committed to combatting and preventing human trafficking. Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock facilities incorporate PACT’s anti-human trafficking information into their training programs for team members.
In 2022, Hard Rock signed the organization’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, the world’s first and only voluntary set of business principles that travel and tourism companies can implement to prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. Hard Rock also launched the Social Identity Quest, an education program designed to help teens understand the risks of being lured online. Over 1.2 million students have completed the curriculum, which is taught by 60,000 teachers in high schools across 45 states.
In January, Hard Rock expanded action to strengthen the industry’s role in combatting and preventing human trafficking. It expanded its direct support for victims, survivors, and at-risk youth through partnership programs.
“Hard Rock is committed to working with our community partners across the country and the world to innovate solutions that help prevent human trafficking,” said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International.