The American hotel, once thought of as a place of luxurious escape, is now the nation’s hotspot for one of the world’s modern forms of slavery: child sex trafficking. End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (“ECPAT”) is a non-governmental, global network of social services organizations dedicated to ending child sex trafficking. The member organization based in the United States, ECPAT-USA, is the leading anti-trafficking policy organization in the country. Its mission is to protect every child’s basic human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking. One way that ECPAT-USA seeks to achieve this goal is by promoting corporate social responsibility (“CSR”), with a strong focus in the tourism sector.
Traffickers conduct their business in hotels because they believe the travel industry offers both an anonymous and transient atmosphere. Victims often go unnoticed because standard training does not alert employees to the dangers of child sex trafficking. Thus, ECPAT-USA encourages private companies to sign The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (“Code”). Signatories pledge their commitment to fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT-USA then creates custom training courses for the signatory, in order to enable its staff to identify possible victims and follow the proper procedure for responding to suspicious activity.