Working to Eliminate Human Trafficking in Travel & Tourism
SITE & ECPAT Partnership
Human trafficking is a global issue in the travel and tourism industry. With the use of online, classified ads, human trafficking has moved off the streets and behind the closed doors of hotels rooms. Women and children are targeted and manipulated by traffickers who transport victims from city to city via airlines and buses. Exploiters use hotels rooms knowing that systems are not in place to identify and protect the victims. Over 80% of arrests take place in airports and hotels. Unfortunately, very few victims are identified and fewer still receive the help and services they need.
Human trafficking is the third largest crime in the world generating over US$15B
Nearly 80% of human trafficking is for sexual exploitation.
The UN Global Study on Violence Against Children estimates 150M girls and 73M boys under the age of 18 experience sexual exploitation or other forms of sexual violence.
The average age of victims is 11 in the developing world and 13 in Western countries.
Research has indicated that the UN knows of victims from 127 countries and of their exploitation in 137.
ECPAT International is a global network of organizations working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) a joint venture between the tourism private sector and ECPAT-USA, is the only voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent child sex tourism and trafficking of children. By enacting responsible policies, members of The Code play an essential role in protecting children from the sexual exploitation that is particularly prevalent in the travel and hospitality industry.
SITE has officially joined the efforts of ECPAT to end child exploitation and human trafficking by signing The Code signifying our commitment to speak out against sexual exploitation of women and children and our intention to leverage our influence in the industry to help victims become survivors.
We will use our channels of communications and events to inform and educate members, suppliers and customers about this critical issue and encourage their support for ECPAT's work around the globe. Actions include training for staff and members, connecting SITE chapters to regional ECPAT offices/NGOs, communication of procedures for reporting of possible cases to local authorities and submission of reports to The Code organization.
While our industry is well aware of environmental sustainability and green measures, the important issue of human rights is seldom talked about. Check out these resources to learn more about ECPAT and The Code, and how you can get involved in ending human trafficking at the source.
Interested in joining the ECPAT initiative against child exploitation and human trafficking? Download this SITE Cares CSR Activities and Chapter Resources Guide for some helpful recommendations.
2017 ECPAT Events:
ECPAT-USA has several major events this year that provide numerous ways for companies to get involved to help protect children from commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, including Advocacy Journeys to Colombia and Thailand.
- ECPAT Athletes 5 Boro Bike Ride New York, 7 May 2017
The TD Five Boro Bike Ride is the world's largest charitable bike ride, benefiting organizations like ECPAT-USA. This year ECPAT-USA was selected again to be a charity partner and has a team of 15 cyclists to join us in the fight against trafficking. Your company’s support goes directly to our programs to protect children from exploitation and abuse.
- TCS NYC Marathon, 5 November 2017
The TCS NYC Marathon receives national and international attention and is featured in a wide variety of publications and media outlets. By becoming an official sponsor of the ECPAT-Athletes, your company’s branding will be in front of thousands of runners and those who come out to cheer them on.
- Journey to Colombia with ECPAT-USA, 30 July - August 3 2017
On this journey to Cartagena, Colombia you will gain an invaluable educative perspective on the issue of sex trafficking and exploitation and learn how others implement the CODE first hand. Plus, of course, we will have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Colombia together, its world heritage sites, its delicious food, and the hospitality of the people. We welcome you to join us on this unique advocacy journey.
- Journey to Thailand with ECPAT-USA, 15-24 October 2017
Come travel with ECPAT-USA this October as we return to Thailand! Once again, this trip will not only entertain travelers—with the beauty, history, culture, and cuisine of Thailand—but also educate participants about the issue of trafficking, introduce them to the advocates who are working to combat it, and show them how the travel industry plays a role.
- The ECPAT-USA Tourism Child-Protection Code (The Code)
- "Does Your Hotel Know?"
- Travel Buyer's Guide
- How Travel Suppliers Can Help End Child Trafficking
- Anti-Trafficking Hotel Checklist
- TraffikCam App to help identify and stop trafficking
- Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism 2016
- Marketplace: "Convention Planners, Hotel Chains Enlisted to Help Spot Sex Traffickers"
- MeetingsNet: "SITE Takes Action Against Human Trafficking"
- The Meetings Magazine: "A Call to Action: Human Trafficking and the Meetings Industry"
- Meetings and Conventions: "Working Together to Eliminate Human Trafficking in Travel and Tourism"
- International Meetings Review: "SITE Global at IMEX: SITE Nite and Signing 'The Code'"
- MeetingsNet: "Speaking Out Against Human Trafficking"
- Eturbonews: "Ensuring a Better Response for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking"
- Meetings and Incentive Travel: "Eyes Wide Open"
- Huffington Post: "To Human Traffickers, Runaway & Homeless Youth Are Walking Prey"
- IMEX Frankfurt: "Human Trafficking and the Events Industry- Don't look away"
- ACCOR Group: "Working Together to Combat Child Sex Tourism"
- CNN: "7 ways to spot that someone is being trafficked"