According to the United Nations, worldwide an estimated 1.2 million children are the victims of human trafficking each year.
Since signing the Child Protection Code in 2011 ITB Berlin has used its voice to campaign against child prostitution and trafficking in tourism. It will also be lending its support when, on 2 May 2013 at the opening session of its annual global convention, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) signs the Code of Conduct against Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism.
“As the world’s leading travel trade show and as a trendsetter, part of our corporate culture is to take on social responsibility. By committing ourselves to this cause our aim is to send out a strong message supporting the fight against sexual exploitation of children and respect for human rights in the industry we represent“, said Rika Jean-Francois, ITB Berlin’s CSR officer and member of the board of the IGLTA.
The IGLTA is the leading global organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travellers (LGBT). The organisation represents LGBT-friendly hotels, destinations, service providers, travel agencies, tour operators and events, for example. “The international influence of the IGLTA and its members is crucial in the fight against human trafficking in all parts of the world“, said Carol Smolenski, the US Executive Director of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking of Children) on the occasion of the signing event.In 1998, the international child protection organisation ECPAT co-authored the Child Protection Code in Sweden, together with Scandinavian tour operators and UNTWO. To date more than 1,200 tour operators, tourism organisations and their corresponding umbrella organisations, as well as hotel chains in 42 countries have signed this document.