It’s a $32 billion business, involving an estimated 2 million children each year. Welcome to the world of international child trafficking. Is this a problem that the average traveler should be worried about? You bet it is.
Child trafficking involves the exploitation of minors who are sold off to work, or into prostitution or pornography.
As travelers, it’s our job to be aware of how we’re doing business, and with whom.
An organization called End Child Prostitution, Pornography, and Trafficking, or ECPAT, created a code of conduct to help raise awareness among the travel industry.
Already, hotel chains like Carlson and Accor have signed on to comply with this code. Ask if your hotel has signed a similar code that conforms to the UN protocols on human trafficking. Or visit the ECPAT Web site to send The Code Postcard to your travel provider, to make it known you’re creating a demand for ethical business practices.
The organization has also created luggage tags to help raise awareness, with proceeds going toward an educational program for women. After all, this problem needs to be addressed at all levels, and it’s up to you to begin the dialogue.
To learn more, check out Peter’s interview with documentary filmmaker Robert Bilheimer: Travelers And Human Trafficking.
And check out the rest of our Daily Travel Tips here.