Today 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.
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.
Mr Alan Bell, Director of ECPAT Child ALERT welcomes the ACCOR membership and hopes that others in the travel and tourism industry will also demonstrate their support by becoming signatories also. "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."
The sexual abuse of children associated with the travel and tourism industry is a global phenomenon known as Child Sex Tourism (CST) and results in countless thousands of children being exploited by travellers in many tourist destinations. The abuse includes all forms of sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and trafficking.
"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." says Mr Bell.
ECPAT Child ALERT is a registered charitable trust working to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.