(PRWEB) May 14, 2013
Tourism promotes culture exchange and is used as a tool for economic development. Sadly, tourism infrastructure and services is also used by offenders for the exploitation of children, including child sex tourism. The Code is using an innovative approach to combat the problem by working with the tourism private sector.
To ease and assist member companies in implementing The Code’s six criteria efficiently, the organization has developed and just launched a number of ‘cloud-based’ tools for tourism professionals as a means to strengthen action against sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The new online services include: a member portal with easy, step-by-step guidance on implementation and reporting; interactive e-learning modules for tourism professionals from different sub-sectors and positions within the industry; and a user-friendly website to provide transparency and awareness.
“Tourism professionals are crucial allies in protecting children from sexual exploitation,” says Andreas Astrup, General Manager of The Code. “These tools were specifically developed for them. Managers can track their progress of implementation and generate reports easier, while front-line staff has easy access to free e-learning modules in local languages.”
The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism [The Code] is a multi-stakeholder organization with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry. The focus is to help tourism professionals prevent, identify and report any suspicious cases of sexual exploitation of children. Developed in 1996 by ECPAT Sweden, The Code has operated as an independent non-profit organization led by a multi-stakeholder board since 2004. Today, the network has nearly 1,300 signatories across 42 countries around the world. Some members of The Code are leading the way: Accor, Delta Airlines, Hotelplan Suisse, Kuoni Travel, Lotus Travel, Melia Hotels, Resfeber, Swiss Federation of Travel Agencies, Thomas Cook and TUI Travel.
The core instrument of The Code is the six criteria that any tourism business or company can implement and commit to: (1) establish an ethical policy, (2) train personnel, (3) introduce a related clause in contracts with suppliers, (4) provide information to travelers, (5) provide information to key persons at the destination, and (6) to report annually to The Code on the initiatives undertaken.
The Code initiative has received international media coverage including recent features on CNN and BBC.
For those interested in learning more about The Code's work, interviews with staff are possible upon request.
For more information about The Code: