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An exploratory study of child commercial sexual exploitation in the hospitality industry in the United States

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This study examines the phenomena of child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation as well as how the hospitality industry can be proactive in fighting for human rights in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Seven hospitality companies have signed End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT)-USA’s Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, also referred to as The Code. The initiative of seven hospitality companies and the purpose of The Code is to provide awareness and tools to fight against the sexual exploitation of children in the hospitality and tourism contexts. Whether and how to become involved with this movement tests hospitality companies’ approach to strategic CSR. These companies can gain a competitive advantage by creating a safe and socially sustainable environment for their guests, employees and their community, as well as a good reputation by investing in strategic and long-term positive social responsibility activities related to combating child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
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Keywords: ECPAT; The Code; child sexual exploitation; competitive advantage; hospitality; social responsibility; tourism; trafficking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of New Hampshire 2: University of Nevada

Publication date: March 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Hospitality & Society is an international multidisciplinary social sciences journal focusing upon hospitality and exploring its connections with wider social and cultural processes and structures. The journal welcomes submissions from various disciplines and aims to be an interactive forum expanding frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the literature on hospitality social science. Articles that stimulate debate, discussion and exchange across disciplines are welcomed, as well as review essays or short topical pieces that are provocative and problematic in nature.

    Hospitality & Society is the official journal of the Council for Hospitality Management Education
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