ECPAT-USA and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) announced that the ATTA became the first United States-based association to sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, an internationally accepted industry-driven corporate responsibility initiative to protect children from trafficking and sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.
The ATTA has a long history of social responsibility and sustainable development and when delving deeper into child exploitation issues in tourism, the ATTA viewed it as imperative to get involved in taking steps to protect children worldwide. In the past, the ATTA has written about ECPAT-USA’s mission to protect children globally from sexual exploitation and trafficking, therefore, signing the Code was a natural next step. As part of being a signatory to the Code, the ATTA has created a plan to help disseminate materials, provide education and also give exposure for theCode.org.
“ECPAT-USA is thrilled to bring the Adventure Travel Trade Association into the family of organizations and companies that have signed the Code of Conduct. Children are sexually exploited by the millions all over the world,”said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “It is important that every sector of the travel industry become part of the solution by implementing the six steps of the Code. The ATTA will have a tremendous multiplier effect by informing its membership about how they can help fight the scourge of child exploitation.”
“We recognize there are dark sides to tourism,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “With such recognition comes great responsibility to take meaningful and immediate steps to eradicate harmful activity. This is our first measure to address this issue, and most certainly not our last.”
The ATTA, along with many Advisory Board members and other industry leaders such as UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai serving as witnesses, signed the Code before more than 600 tourism industry professionals representing 60 nations on October 9th during the 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit in Switzerland to send a signal to the global adventure tourism community that there is no place for the exploitation of children in tourism, as well as to foster a movement for additional support to fight this battle together. The ATTA joins Code signatories such as Accor Hotels, Carlson Companies, Delta Air Lines, Hilton Worldwide, Sabre Holdings and Wyndham Worldwide.