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ECPAT-USA’s benchmarking report: Travel industry’s fight against trafficking

ECPAT-USA’s benchmarking report: Travel industry’s fight against trafficking
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In recognition of World Tourism Day, ECPAT-USA is launching its latest report today that details how different sectors in the travel and tourism are working to protect children. Stamping Out Exploitation in Travel is a benchmarking report that presents key findings and themes from a study of 70 companies in the travel industry on their initiatives to fight human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The report establishes a way to measure progress, identifies the baseline for their engagement, and highlights best practices to encourage cross-learning within the travel industry.

The private sector plays a major role in ensuring that profits do not come at the expense of children. Especially in the travel and hospitality industry, there is both a great responsibility and opportunity to ensure associates have the knowledge and resources to address human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

“Since ECPAT-USA started working with the travel industry on this issue over ten years ago, we have been incredibly proud of the way our partners have stepped up and taken concrete steps to protect children from trafficking and exploitation,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “We believe Stamping Out Exploitation in Travel will help us measure improvements in policies and procedures aimed at ending sex trafficking and promote best practices across all sectors of the industry in order to work together to ensure every child’s right to grow up free from exploitation.”

Key Report Findings:

The travel industry’s average score on their Stamping out Exploitation in Travel efforts is 38%. The score is based on a comprehensive analysis, by ECPAT-USA, of all policies and practices that prevent and respond to human trafficking and exploitation.

Companies that partner with ECPAT-USA and are members of The Code have an average score of 47%, which is 31% higher than non-Code members who average 16%.

The 8 industries of Stamping out Exploitation in Travel analyzed by ECPAT-USA were:


Aviation (Airlines, Airports)

Conferences & Meeting Management

Franchised Hospitality (Hotel Brands, Gaming/Casino)

Owned & Managed Hospitality (Hotel Management Companies, Single Property Hotels)

Sharing Economy (Rideshare, Home-share)

Tour Companies

Travel Management Companies

On average, the Aviation sector scored the highest, followed closely by Travel Management Companies.

The four categories of Stamping out Exploitation in Travel analyzed by ECPAT-USA were:

Policies and Procedures



Transparency and Reporting

60% of companies are actively engaging with law enforcement, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and governments on the issue.

Although great strides have also been made in recent years to train employees on human trafficking risks and how to respond, only one-third of companies surveyed provided training to their associates in the last twelve months, and less than half explained their training initiatives directly in policy or procedural documents.

Over 70% of companies have an anti-human trafficking policy that has been established, communicated to their associates and is publicly available.

The full report is available here.

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 95 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. For more information, click here.

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About the author


Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.