GBTA Cares / ECPAT North America 



GBTA Cares and ECPAT Join Forces to Take Action
to ‘End Child Prostitution and Trafficking’


1. What is ‘Child Prostitution and Trafficking’?

2. Who is ECPAT?

3. What does this mean for the business travel industry?

4. GBTA position, objectives and 'Call to Action!'

5. Toolkit

6. Contact ECPAT



GBTA Convention 2015 Education Session: End Child Exploitation and Trafficking

GBTA Convention ECPAT            

Click here to view more photos.




1. What is Child Prostitution and Trafficking?

Child sex tourism is the sexual exploitation of a child by a person who engages in sexual activities with a child while traveling away from their own country or region. It usually involves some form of payment, either in cash or in kind. Perpetrators are often referred to as child sex tourists.

Quantifying the problem is difficult. Some numbers suggest that 25% of the travellers who sexually exploit children around the world are from the United States and Canada. Meanwhile more and more children are forced into the sex market every year, meeting the supply of sex tourists who feel they can better “get away with” exploiting a child in another country.

Key Facts:


  • 100,000 – 300,000: American children at risk for trafficking per year.
  • Children as young as 12 years old are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • 44% of sexually exploited NYC youth were exploited in hotels.
  • 25% of child sex tourists are NORTH AMERICAN.
  • $99 billion industry


There is a sex tourism industry that promotes sex tours to many destinations.

They usually do not promote child sex tours, at least in the open, but travellers take these tours knowing that at the destination, anything goes.

The legitimate business travel industry does not support commercial sexual exploitation of children.

But its facilities may be used to that effect.





2. Who is ECPAT

‘End Child Prostitution and Trafficking’

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-trafficking policy organization in the United States.

They belong to an international network of organizations in 75 countries, all working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.


A world in which no child is bought, sold, or used for sex.


To protect every child’s basic human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking. ECPAT-USA does this in four primary ways:


  • advocates for federal and state legislation that prevents exploitation, protects children, and guarantees that any child who is subjected to sexual slavery or sex trafficking will not be prosecuted in the courts for prostitution;
  • promotes corporate responsibility among private companies with a strong focus on the tourism sector.
  • educates first responders and ordinary citizens about this issue so that they can identify victims and join us in the fight to better protect children.
  • empowers youth to take the lead against human trafficking by equipping them with the knowledge and tools necessary to help them become activists against this terrible trade.





3. What does this mean for the business travel industry?

Contrary to popular belief, the United States is not immune to child sex trafficking. See above facts….

The victims are male and female and come from all socioeconomic status, though runaways, throwaways and foster care children are more likely to be targeted for recruitment by traffickers.

With the growth of technology, traffickers are moving their business off the streets and onto the Internet. The same websites that are used to sell furniture and appliances have sections where pimps are selling their victims.

A trafficker may check into a hotel, unbeknownst to employees, and run their operations out of rooms or use other hotel rooms to meet with “buyers.” Standard hospitality training does not sensitize employees to the issue of sex trafficking in hotels and because of this; traffickers believe hotels are anonymous and low-risk. Air travel and ground transportation is used to transport victims over the country and across borders. They are also a primary means of transportation for child sex tourists– individuals who travel overseas to sexually exploit local children.





4. GBTA position, objectives and ‘Call to Action!’

Human trafficking is an important issue, and it is only right that GBTA should be involved on behalf of our industry.

Many hotel chains and travel related companies have already signed up to the ECPAT code of conduct and invested time and effort into dedicated program.

Most of the current activity and education is related to supporting the ECPAT code of conduct and training - mostly in relation to hotels. We agree with this, but as GBTA is a buyer led organization, we should also provide similar support for corporate travel buyers.

It is our goal to support ECPAT by creating a call to action for corporate travel buyers and their suppliers.

Call to Action!

Travel Buyers


✔ Establish if your company and your suppliers are knowingly, or otherwise involved?

✔ Put it in RFP questions for key suppliers!

✔ Sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct

✔ Continue to build your knowledge about the issue using the GBTA toolkit

✔ Learn more by visiting the ECPAT on www.ecpatusa.org


Travel Suppliers


✔ Discuss the issue with employees, are they seeing something?

✔ Sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct

✔ Continue to build your knowledge about the issue: www.ecpatusa.org





5. Toolkit

A. What Is Child Sex Tourism?

B. ECPAT Code of Conduct

C. How Travel Buyers Can Help + Sample RFP Language

D. Current List of Signatories





6. Contacts


Michelle Guelbart
Director of Private Sector Engagement
Email: michelle@ecpatusa.org
Telephone: 718-935-9192


Email: ICARUS@gbta.org