The hotel chain takes a further step in its strategic plan for Corporate Social Responsibility, by promising to develop plans to avoid the commercial sexual abuse of minors in the tourism sector
Today in Gran Canaria, Carmen Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts, along with María Martínez Hernández from FAPMI-ECPAT Spain, signed the Code of Conduct against the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. With this signature the hotel chain commits to fight against the sexual exploitation of boys, girls and teenagers in tourism through various actions, with the support and collaboration of FAPMI-ECPAT Spain, the body which is responsible for managing the Code in this country. The signing took place in the ExpoMeloneras Conference Centre in Maspalomas. This year, this tourist destination is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and will be involved in the celebration of the 2012 World Tourism Day tomorrow.
María Martínez Hernández, FAPMI-ECPAT, has been responsible for welcoming the signing ceremony, which was witnessed by Consuelo Crespo, president of UNICEF in Spain; Marco Aurelio Pérez, Mayor of San Bartolomé de Tirajana; Ricardo Fernández of Puente Armas, Deputy Councillor of Tourism in the Canarian Government; Yolanda Perdomo, director of the Secretariat of Affiliated Members of the OMT; María Jesús Conde, representative of UNICEF in the Dominican Republic; and Nereida Castro, president of the Canarian UNICEF Committee.
As a result of the adherence of RIU to the Code of Conduct, a debate has been initiated on Tourism and Social Responsibility, “Fighting together against the sexual exploitation of minors in the tourism sector”, overseen by Consuelo Crespo, president of UNICEF Spain. Businesses in the sector and institutions have demonstrated their experience in the defence of the Children’s Rights, and in particular in the struggle against the sexual exploitation of minors.
The Sexual Exploitation of Boys, Girls and Teenagers in tourism is a growing problem which requires the intervention of all parties involved. Every year, more than 1.8 million minors worldwide find themselves forced to enter into commercial sexual exploitation. Tourism, given that it is the main industry worldwide, exerts economic, cultural, environmental and socio-political effects in the areas it operates, having a direct impact on the lives of boys, girls and teenagers in these communities.
The public authorities and the private sector have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that the protection of boys, girls and teenagers is incorporated into the agenda for development in tourism. The Code of Conduct for the protection of boys, girls and teenagers against commercial sexual exploitation is an international tool driven by the tourism industry concerned, in collaboration with ECPAT International, financed by UNICEF and with the support of the World Tourism Organisation. It acts as an instrument of self-regulation and Corporate Social Responsibility to provide additional protection to boys, girls and adolescents against commercial sexual exploitation in the tourism sector.
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