10 June 2010

Before the World Cup, South Africa is Already Winning

Top leaders in South Africa's travel and tourism industry signed the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct - calling for zero tolerance of child exploitation.

JOHANNESBURG, 9 June 2010 - UNICEF applauded the South African tourism and hospitality industry for its significant commitment to put an end to child sex tourism. The Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct is aimed at protecting children and to leaving an enduring legacy of good practice beyond the World Cup, which starts Friday 11 June.

"The contribution of the travel and tourism industry is [vital] to help stamp out child sexual exploitation. When it comes to the sexual exploitation of children, there can be no innocent bystanders. ... Effective child protection is only possible when all sectors of society were mobilised. Together, we must demonstrate [zero] tolerance of child exploitation and make South Africa a tourist destination that is safe for children." - Aida Germa, UNICEF Representative

Fourteen leading organisations in the South African travel, hotel and tourism industry have signified that they are behind the Code. They include AVIS, Hertz, Budget and Europcar; Sun International, Radisson, Protea Hotels and Tourvest. These companies have become signatories to The Code to help ensure that tourism facilities do not become havens for crimes against children.

Yesterday’s signing is also linked to a wider UNICEF-led national communication campaign ‘Let's Give a Red Card to Child Exploitation’ aimed at protecting children during the World Cup and beyond. Tens of thousands of visitors will find Red Card child protection information and referral numbers in their hotel rooms, rental cars and tour package dockets.
To date, nearly 1,000 companies in 35 countries have signed The Code. Tourism businesses that choose to sign The Code commit themselves to implement the following measures on an ongoing basis:
Establish an ethical corporate policy regarding sexual exploitation of children.
Train personnel in the country of origin and in destinations.
Introduce clauses in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of sexual exploitation of children.
Provide information to travellers (e.g. brochures, posters, in-flight videos, ticket slips, home pages, etc).
Provide information to local "key persons" at tourism destinations.
Report annually.