BROOKLYN, N.Y.—ECPAT-USA is expanding into a previously untapped sector of the travel industry by providing specialized training in how to identify and stop human trafficking for travel management professionals, corporate travel managers, and those in the meeting and events industry. This is in addition to the number of hotel brands and airlines that already utilize ECPAT-USA’s nationally recognized training.
As January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, ECPAT-USA is offering Preventing & Responding to Human Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children—An E-Learning by ECPAT-USA as part of a renewed commitment to the mission of protecting every child’s right to grow up free from the fear of exploitation.
“For decades, the travel industry has been used by traffickers to their own advantage. This training means it will be harder for traffickers to go unnoticed with more sectors of the travel industry involved in identifying and responding to the trafficking of children,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement for ECPAT-USA. “Through our partnerships with major hotels and airlines—and now travel industry professionals—we are able to move beyond the front lines and take concrete steps toward ending child sex trafficking.”
The Trafficker/Travel Industry Connection
Traffickers have been known to use hotels, airlines, and other travel infrastructure to exploit or transport their victims. They book hotel and motel rooms when setting up encounters between victims of sex trafficking and those individuals purchasing sex. They move victims to and from locations by way of commercial air travel. Labor trafficking is also present in both the travel industry’s workforce and in the supply chain of its products. This criminal activity presents a great risk for the safety and security of businesses in this industry, as well as legitimate travel customers and the victims themselves.
As a result, travel industry leaders are increasingly recognizing the unique role they play in preventing and disrupting this crime. With training, associates can safely and swiftly respond to suspicious activity.
The 25-minute online training developed by ECPAT-USA, with the input of a committee of travel professionals, addresses the issue of human trafficking and discusses the intersections between human trafficking and the travel industry. Additionally, ECPAT-USA offers free tools and resources that can be used in conjunction with this training to help companies combat trafficking and inform suppliers and clients of their commitment.
ECPAT-USA has a long history of working with the travel industry. Through the ECPAT Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code), an industry-driven set of initiatives, travel companies are given the tools needed to prevent child sex trafficking and exploitation. Code companies commit to train their staff to recognize when someone might be a victim. These newly available resources are an important and game-changing addition to ECPAT-USA’s growing collection of tools for the travel industry.
To access the training visit: www.ecpatusa.org/travel-elearning. To access all ECPAT-USA’s resources for travel professionals visit: www.ecpatusa.org/resources-for-travel-professionals.