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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Joint Forces to Protect Children from Sex Tourism: Development Partnership with the Private Sector Supporting The Code

BANGKOK, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Four of the world's leading tourism companies together with GIZ and The Code launch a joint project to combat child sex tourism. Project partners: TUI Travel; Accor group; Kuoni Group and ITB aim to ensure and inspire action on the issue, through testing and optimization of the tools put in place in Thailand, as pilot country.

The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code), as a multi-stakeholder organization, has been created as a practical tool for the tourism industry taking action against the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

"This work cannot be done without involving the tourism sector itself, which is why we are very excited to get these major stakeholders on board for this pilot project," says Andreas Astrup, General Manager of The Code.

Within this voluntary code of conduct, members of the tourism industry worldwide commit to implement six criteria, those being (1) establish an ethical policy, (2) train personnel, (3) introduce a Code-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 has been very successful in the tasks of raising awareness and recruiting new members and is today well-known within the tourism sector. The Code has won multiple awards and has over 1,000 signatories worldwide.

However, to ensure that companies signing The Code implement the criteria they commit to as well as report on their work, a line of cloud-based, online services is being developed. The services will include an E-learning system and a new online reporting system.

"It is crucial that the industry gets involved in testing, strengthening and adapting the new tools, which is why we are supporting this new private project," says Matthias Leisinger, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Kuoni.

"It is our hope that the tourism industry will follow the lead of the Kuoni Group, Accor group, TUI Travel and ITB by adopting these instruments of self-regulation to end the abhorrent practice of child sex tourism worldwide," encourages Andreas Astrup.

The project is implemented in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and is part of the develoPPP.de programme financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Contact: Andreas Astrup – General Manager, The Code: [email protected], +662 215 3388

The Kuoni Group: Leading global travel and destination management services company, founded in 1906 in Switzerland and operating in more than 80 countries.

Accor: The world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, present in 92 countries with nearly 3,500 hotels and 440,000 rooms. Accor's portfolio of hotel brands is composed of Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and hotel.

TUI Travel PLC: leading international leisure travel group headquartered in UK operating in approx. 180 countries worldwide.

ITB: Since 1966, ITB Berlin has established itself as one of the biggest and most important travel fairs worldwide.

For more information about The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code) : Website: www.thecode.org | Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheCodeofConduct | Twitter: @TheCodeOrg

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism

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