Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International Honored with Freedom Award from PACT (Protect All Children from Trafficking)
Durante Blais-Billie of the Seminole Tribe of Florida accepts a Freedom Award from PACT CEO Lori L. Cohen to honor commitment to combat and prevent human trafficking.
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.
PACT is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end child sexual exploitation and trafficking through education, partnerships, and legislative advocacy. PACT is a member of ECPAT International, a global network with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children around the world. For more information, visit WeArePACT.org.
About the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Gaming
Seminole Gaming manages six Florida casino complexes for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, including Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla. Seminole Gaming has long been recognized for its industry innovations and success. The Seminole Tribe of Florida was the first Indian Tribe in North America to open a high-stakes bingo hall and casino, which debuted in 1979 and became the forerunner of the Indian Gaming movement.
About Hard Rock®:
Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 290 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 87,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock Hotels has been honored by J.D. Power’s North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study as the number one brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for two consecutive years, and among the top Upper Upscale Hotels for four consecutive years. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021, and has since been honored threefold. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World’s Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. In 2021, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos received first place ranking in the Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey conducted by Bristol Associates Inc. and Spectrum Gaming Group for six of the last seven years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com.