Thirteen years ago ECPAT-USA set out to engage the United States travel and tourism industry in protecting children from sex trafficking. Back then, very few people understood the urgency of this work. As ECPAT-USA made progress with the general public through awareness campaigns and outreach, we also worked with hotel brands to implement policies and training to begin alerting hospitality associates of their unique role in stopping human trafficking. Slowly things began to change and we reached a turning point. Corporate policies against human trafficking and child exploitation have become industry standard. Training has become best practice. But until now, no one knew exactly how many hotels had training.
Our new report provides that information, including the findings of an evaluation study conducted by the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Services demonstrating the results of this work. The report includes a discussion about why and how ECPAT-USA works with the hospitality industry, a description of the resources and tools that are now available to the hospitality industry throughout the United States, a description of the extent and impact of training, and recommendations for how to continue and expand the success that has been achieved. We now know that half of all hotels in the U.S. have training about how to prevent and disrupt child sex trafficking and at least 35% of those have ECPAT-USA training, but there is still more work to be done.