WASHINGTON D.C. -- The cruise ship industry is coming under fire by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
A new report released Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation says hundreds of crimes on board cruise ships go unreported to the public.
According to the report, only 31 out of more than 900 alleged crimes reported to the FBI were made public.
Currently, the FBI is only required to disclose crimes that have been solved, not alleged crimes.
Cruise Ship Industry Expert Ross Klein told the committee Wednesday that close to 18 percent of victims of sexual assault on cruise ships are children. Yet, crimes committed against minors are not publicly reported at all.
"When families bring their children on a cruise and they're told that it's a safe vacation I think any
number of children who are being victimized is unacceptable,” said Klein.
As a result, Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller introduced the "Cruise Passenger Protection Act."
The new legislation would make all crimes alleged on cruise ships publicly available to consumers and require additional safeguards on ships such as cameras in public areas.
Sen. Rockefeller says consumers need to know about the true number of crimes that occur on cruise ships as well as safety issues.
"If the industry is seriously working to improve the safety and security of its ships, why have we witnessed so many serious incidents in the last 16 months? Is the industry really trying to adopt a culture of safety or are the safety reviews and temporary investments a cynical effort to counter-balance bad publicity,” questioned Sen. John D. Rockefeller, (D) West Virginia.
Representatives from the cruise lines say they are working to provide consumers with more information.