With the anonymity that comes with hotels, traffickers are selling and buying victims from their rooms, unbeknownst to the employees. In fact, law enforcement agencies report that almost all pimped victims they've come in contact with has been exploited at one time or another in hotels.
The anti-trafficking group ECPAT-USA has launched a new public awareness campaign designed to educate hotels and travelers about sex trafficking. Their 1-minute, 24-second public service announcement (PSA) is narrated by a 13-year-old sex trafficking victim who describes the experience of being spotted by a hotel guest who could help her, but doesn't.
The goal is to:
- To establish a policy and procedures against sexual exploitation of children.
- To train employees in children's rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases.
- To include a clause in contracts throughout the value chain stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
- To provide information to travelers on children's rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and how to report suspected cases.
- To support, collaborate and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
- To report annually on their implementation of Code related activities.
One way they are trying to accomplish this is through a voluntary code of conduct for travel and tourism businesses. Those adopting the code promise to enforce a zero-tolerance policy against sex trafficking, to provide training that will help their employees recognize and report sex trafficking when they witness it, and to provide information to travelers to make them aware of the issue and how they can help.
For more information, to watch the PSA, or to sign the ECPAT-USA Code of Conduct, visit www.ecpatusa.org/code.