As child traffickers typically have no choice but to use the services afforded by the travel and hospitality sectors — hotels, transportation and the like — industry groups are fighting back. The Events Industry Council (EIC), for one, recently announced it has joined The Code, a multi-stakeholder initiative to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. The Code provides awareness, tools and support to the travel and tourism industry to protect children against abuse. The council is the global voice of the business events industry on advocacy, research, professional recognition and standards.
The Code is a voluntary set of six criteria that members commit to in order to keep children safe. The Code is supported by ECPAT, a worldwide network of organizations working to end the sexual exploitation of children around the world.
Amy Calvert, CEO of the EIC, says, “The EIC supports all efforts against human trafficking and we are very proud to have joined The Code to support its global mission. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), over 40 million people are living in slavery worldwide. By working with The Code and ECPAT, we can play our part in finally ending global human trafficking and exploitation. Given the scope and scale of our industry, we have the ability to be a catalyst for meaningful and lasting change and progress.”
The Code is the world’s first and only voluntary set of business principles companies can implement to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. The Code will support the EIC, a global federation supporting the business events industry, by collaborating and engaging with stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children; establish policies and procedures; train employees; include a clause in contracts; and provide information to travelers on how to prevent and report suspected cases.
“ECPAT International welcomes the newest member of The Code — the EIC,” remarks Thomas Mueller, deputy executive director at ECPAT. “They join over 350 member companies worldwide in a shared, proactive commitment from the travel and tourism industry to protecting children from sexual exploitation. It is vital that the private sector works together with the ECPAT network, law enforcement and local communities on this difficult but important issue.”