|May 19, 2015|
SITE Joins ECPAT's Effort To End Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking
|The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) has officially joined ECPAT's efforts to end child exploitation and human trafficking. The association's International Board of Directors formally signed the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) during SITE Nite Europe, 18 May 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany. The Code is an internationally accepted set of voluntary guidelines that travel and tourism companies can implement to prevent child exploitation and human trafficking. |
Rhonda Brewer, SITE President and Vice-President, Sales, Maritz Travel Company, was instrumental in creating this partnership. Maritz Travel has been a member of The Code since November of 2013. "Signing of the Child-Protection Code signifies SITE's commitment to speak out against sexual exploitation of women and children and our intention to leverage our influence in the industry to help victims become survivors."
"SITE's global membership and reach will be instrumental in spreading the message to countless companies and individuals who may come across child trafficking victims," said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement for ECPAT-USA. "We look forward to this exciting partnership."
With more than 2000 members in 90 countries, SITE will use its channels of communications and events to inform and educate its members, suppliers and customers about the critical issue and encourage their support for ECPAT's work around the globe. Actions will include training for staff and members, connecting SITE chapters to regional ECPAT offices/NGOs, communication of procedures for reporting of possible cases to local authorities and submission of reports to The Code organization.
By enacting responsible policies, members of The Code play an essential role in protecting children from the sexual exploitation that is particularly prevalent in the travel and hospitality industry. With the use of online classified ads, child trafficking has moved off the streets and behind the closed doors of local hotel rooms. Airlines are a primary means of transportation for child sex tourists who travel overseas to sexually exploit children. Unfortunately, very few victims are identified and fewer still receive the help and services they need.
On 8 June 2015 at 2:00 pm CT, SITE will host a webinar "Human Trafficking -- What We Can Do About It," presented by SITE Board Member, Annamaria Ruffini, President & CEO, Event In & Out S.R.L and Julie Johnson, SITE Director of Media & Industry Relations. During the webinar, participants will learn about child exploitation and human trafficking and what meetings and events industry professionals can do to help combat the issue.
To learn more about ECPAT-USA, The Code, and how you can get involved in ending child exploitation at the source visit www.ecpatusa.org/thecode