The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (TheCode) is an industry-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative which seeks to increase protection of children from sex tourism. The Code was first introduced in 1998 by ECPAT Sweden in collaboration with Scandinavian tour operators and the UNWTO. Over 1,000 companies from 40 countries as signatory implementing members.
The Code is recognised by UNICEF, the UN World Tourism Organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as the primary international tool for the prevention and combating of child-sex tourism by the travel and tourism private sector.
The Declaration and Agenda for Action unanimously adopted by the First World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm in 1996, called upon all sectors of society to intervene against this global phenomenon. One of the key sectors that engaged in actions to protect children’s rights to live free from exploitation is the travel and tourism industry. Additional information: www.thecode.org
Tourism businesses – tour operators, hotels, travel agents, etc. – which sign the Code commit themselves to implement in their operations the following measures:
- To establish an ethical corporate policy regarding sexual exploitation of children.
- To train the personnel in the country of origin and in destinations.
- To introduce clauses in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiating of sexual exploitation of children.
- To provide information to travellers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight videos, ticket slips, home pages, etc.
- To provide information to local “key persons” at tourism destinations.
- To report annually.
|On 12 August, 2011, the ACCOR group of hotels throughout New Zealand and Fiji registered as signatories to the global responsible tourism code of conduct known as The Code through the local Code representatives, ECPAT Child ALERT.
At a meeting of their hotel managers in Auckland Paul Richardson, Vice President for Accor in New Zealand and Fiji committed their organisation to meet the requirements of The Code to protect children from sexual exploitation through tourism. This includes training of staff, monitoring and reporting, as well as the raising of guest awareness. They now join almost 1,000 members from the tourist industry around the world in 42 countries who have adopted this corporate social responsibility.
VP Paul Richardson of ACCOR Hotels & Alan Bell, Director of ECPAT Child ALERT shaking hands .
Within the framework of its sustainable development policy and its Earth Guest Programme, Accor is committed to help combat child-sex tourism and the group has now signed the code in more than 40 countries.
ECPAT Child ALERT Comments:
This is a responsible and timely move by a major international organisation to add this dimension of corporate responsibility to their already fine record of setting high professional and social standards in their business operations.
New Zealand is fortunate that law enforcement exercised by the Police, Customs and Internal Affairs monitors and enforces the law to a degree that we do not experience child sex tourism to the same degree as some other countries. However it is wise to be proactive and to be alert to the risks as we are not exempt from this sort of child abuse. The measures become of particular importance during times such as the upcoming Rugby World Cup where there will be a lot of overseas visitors moving around the country with a probability of increased alcohol consumption and crowd behaviour.