2017 | Michelle Guelbart, MSW and Julia Wejchert, ECPAT-USA

Child sex trafficking is a problem across the United States. Children as young as 12 and 13 are integrated into the sex industry and are bought and sold alongside adults. While the hospitality industry is not responsible for the exploitation, it does have an important role to play in helping to stop it. Thirteen years ago ECPAT-USA set out to engage the United States travel and tourism industry in protecting children from sex trafficking. This report shows the results of that effort. An evaluation study conducted by the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service has collected data demonstrating the results of this work. 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. Additionally, most hotel properties received training from their parent companies, which reinforces the efficacy of partnering with hospitality brands to reach properties on the ground level.

This impact report described has four sections. The first is a discussion about why and how ECPAT-USA works with the hospitality industry. The second section is a description of the resources and tools that are now available to the hospitality industry throughout the United States. These have been made possible because of the industry’s willingness to invest resources into creating and disseminating them. The third section is a description of the extent and impact of training now available to the hospitality industry in the U.S. The fourth and final section contains recommendations for how to continue and expand the success that has been achieved.