STATEMENT: InterContinental Hotels Group Re-Commits to Enforcing Removal of all On-Demand Pornography
Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE
Washington, DC – InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a premiere international hotel company that boasts 4,900 properties in nearly 100 countries, has worked with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation to ensure that its hotels no longer sell on-demand pornography. NCOSE applauds IHG for committing to reinforce its existing brand standard that prioritizes the dignity and safety of its guests.
“InterContinental Hotels Group has committed to rigorously enforce a brand standard prohibiting the distribution of pornography across all of its brands, such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “This commitment by IHG comes about as a new normal expands across the hotel industry, where increasingly hoteliers are recognizing that pornography is an exploitive means of profit, partly due to pornography’s link to prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual violence. Unfortunately, some IHG hotels have been violating the company’s existing policy against pornography distribution. In light of this, IHG has strengthened its standard to ensure that hotels continuing to sell pornography will face strict penalties for noncompliance. We are grateful to Intercontinental Hotels Group for the priority the company placed on working with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in order to ensure that none of its hotels profit from sexual exploitation. IHG has sent a communication to all of its hotels, informing them of its measures to ensure that all pornography be eliminated as soon as respective contracts run out. IHG has also pledged to continuously inspect all of its hotels to ensure the standard is enforced.”
“IHG’s announcement continues a growing trend among major hotel chains of commitments to no longer profit from pornography,” Hawkins continued. “In 2015, both Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels Corporation pledged to remove all on-demand pornography from their hotels by summer 2016. Hilton Worldwide made this policy change after being listed for a brief time on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen List, which names twelve mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation.”
According to an IHG Spokesperson, “Our company has had for many years a standard in place that compels franchisees not to broadcast NC-17 content or equivalent. This is a standard we take seriously.
Likewise, we believe in the power of regular dialogue with third-party organizations such as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). Through our discussions with NCOSE, we were able to identify ways to better assess and strengthen our compliance standard prohibiting the airing of NC-17 content or equivalent, which includes increased communications to hotels and rigorous audits.
This further bolsters dialogue we have had for several years with numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations on a range of initiatives designed to safeguard human dignity—from supply chain protocols and human rights to sexual exploitation.”