IGLTA Joins ECPAT’s Fight Against Child Trafficking

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association will officially join ECPAT’s efforts to end child prostitution and trafficking at the May 2 opening session of its Annual Global Convention. IGLTA is the third association to sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. The Code is an internationally accepted set of voluntary guidelines that travel companies can implement to prevent child exploitation. More than 1,200 companies in 42 different countries have signed on to date.
As a signatory of the Code, IGLTA will use its channels of communication to inform members about this critical issue and encourage their support for ECPAT’s work. According to the United Nations, an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide each year.
IGLTA Board Member Rika Jean-Francois, Commissioner ITB Corporate Social Responsibility, was instrumental in creating this partnership. ITB Berlin, one of the world’s leading travel trade events, signed the Code in 2011.

“IGLTA signing the Child-Protection Code sends a strong signal to its members and the tourism industry as a whole,” says Jean-Francois. “I believe that it is part of our social responsibility to speak out against sexual exploitation of children and to stand up for human rights in tourism.”

As the local Code representative in the United States, ECPAT-USA will serve as a resource for the association and participate in the signing at the 30th anniversary convention. ECPAT-USA is the regional member of the ECPAT network, which works internationally to protect children from exploitation and trafficking.

“ECPAT-USA is thrilled to partner with IGLTA in raising awareness about the unique role travel companies have in identifying and protecting victims of trafficking,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “The international reach of IGLTA and its members is crucial to fight trafficking in all regions of the world.”

Source = IGLTA
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