ASSET-H&C and The Code establish valuable partnership to tackle sexual exploitation of children in Southeast Asian travel and tourism

The Code is pleased to welcome the Association of Southeast Asian Social Enterprises for Training in Hospitality and Catering, ASSET-H&C,  as new partners in the fight to end the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT). ASSET-H&C are a regional network created and coordinated by IECD, a French NGO.

They bring together tourism and hospitality vocational training centres willing to work hand in hand to better fulfil their common social mission: bringing positive change in the lives of vulnerable youth by teaching them trades that will allow them to successfully integrate into society. As of August 2019, the network gathers 14 member-schools located in five countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.

ASSET-H&C, recently honoured by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Award 2019 for Education and Training, uphold the highest standards for excellence and innovation in their vision of a sustainable hospitality and tourism industry.

Member-schools train 2,400 hospitality and tourism students each year, many of whom come from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds. Now, as members of The Code, these students can continue to advance positive change in Southeast Asian society.

We are confident that the MOU signed between our two networks will significantly strengthen the travel and tourism industry’s ability to combat SECTT. ASSET-H&C has joined over 350 companies around the world in abiding by the six principles of The Code – establishing procedures and policies against sexual exploitation of children, training employees in children’s rights and report mechanisms, including a zero tolerance policy of SECTT in their contracts, providing information to travellers, supporting and collaborating with stakeholders, as well as reporting annually on their implementation of The Code.

Damien Brosnan, Director of The Code, commented that “it is great to see that child protection will be increasingly highlighted in the training of the next generations of leaders in travel and tourism”.

PATA CEO Dr Mario Hardy described ASSET-H&C as an association “who truly represents the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region”. Their commitment to ending the crime of SECTT represents an important step forward in global efforts towards child protection.

The Code is additionally grateful for ASSET-H&C’s assistance in translating The Code’s training resources into Khmer and Laotian, and are pleased to assist ASSET-H&C in adapting their existing training course for ‘La Riziere’ school in Madagascar, initially developed with ECPAT France, for the Southeast Asian context.

Above all, the partnership between The Code and ASSET-H&C will continue the mission of both organizations to create a responsible and sustainable travel industry; a world that is safe and enjoyable for all.

Want to protect children in travel and tourism? Find out how you can become a member of The Code here.

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