Renewed commitment to child protection from members of The Code during the Annual General Meeting

The meeting was attended by 34 invitees (plus one from The Code Secretariat), representing a range of businesses, LCRs and other stakeholders. There were 16 LCR representatives (representing 8 national ECPAT members and ECPAT International), 11 from member companies, and 7 from business and NGO groups.

The Code has currently 283 paid and signed memberships; 43 new member companies were welcomed during 2017 and currently there are an additional 73 companies that received approval from the Board and are awaiting full membership recognition.

Among the new members are:

  • Hartsfields-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta
  • CI Azumano Travel (USA)
  • Aurinkomatkat Oy (Finland)
  • Corendon (Netherlands)
  • Constance Hospitality in Mauritius
  • In the first months of 2018 American Airlines and Marriott have also been welcomed as members, thanks to the advocacy efforts of ECPAT USA.

LCR members

The number of LCR members increased with 10 percent to 34 members in 2017 and three new European LCRs joined in 2017, in the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Belgium. Each of these new LCRs are part of the ECPAT network.

The LCR work is of great importance to success of The Code, and it is hoped to welcome more new LCRs as there are still many countries where no local representation is present.

Top Members

In 2017, 8 newly recognized tourism companies from around the world were recognised as Top Members for their exceptional work to integrate child protection practices into their business and help protect children from sexual exploitation in tourism. The total number of Top Members is now 51, and more will be announced in the coming months with the release of the 2018 list.

Memoranda of Understanding

In 2017 and 2018 two Memorandums of Understanding were signed; one with TourCert, thanks to ECPAT Germany, and one with Skål International. MoUs are signed with membership organisations that facilitate the protection of children in the tourism industry among their members by creating awareness, promoting and supporting the members to implement the six criteria of the Code.

TourCert is an international non-profit organization based in Germany which certifies tourism companies and destinations for their Corporate Social Responsibility reporting and performance.

Skål International is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship.

Industry events

Each year The Code represents itself at fairs around the world to create awareness for protection of children. In 2017, The Code was present at 6 events:

  • ITB in Berlin and in Singapore
  • Nepal Tourism Board on Responsible Tourism and Child Protection
  • Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda
  • ECPAT Foundation/UNICEF business-to-business forum in Chiang Mai
  • Global Summit Follow-up meeting in Madrid

The Code finds it valuable to be present in these fairs to maintain a presence and visibility to both CSR-friendly companies but also to emphasize the issue to those who think sexual exploitation of children does not exist.


The Code’s 283 member companies together cover over 1 million tourism employees (total tourism employees are over 300 million, WTTC figures). Since 2013 over 500,000 staff have been trained (e-learning and offline) – actually, majority of this figure is self-reported offline training.

The Code offers several e-learnings on the website. In total the trainings are completed 38,000 times. Front-of-house (hotel reception) is the most completed course with around 8,000 times. In 2017, staff from 86 of our member companies have completed e-learning modules.

Voluntourism roll-out

In 2016 The Code’s voluntourism policy was published. The policy focusses on voluntourism and orphanage activities as a tourist attraction.

In a nutshell the policy indicates that The Code does not accept membership of organisations involved in voluntourism activities which include orphanages and other forms of residential care for children in settings with minimal support or supervision; that The Code does not accept membership of organisations that have orphanages and other residential care centres incorporated in tourism programs.

The policy should have been implemented by all members from January 1st, 2018 onwards. However, we see that there is limited reporting of implementation of policy, despite being included in 2017 reporting template. A couple of new applying companies have committed to meet the additional requirements.

The member portal has been updated to allow members offering voluntourism products to upload information on the additional 6 criteria. Efforts are needed to ensure that new and existing members adhere to this important policy. Thanks to ECPAT Deutschland, the Voluntourism policy is now also available in German.

Thank you, Dorothy

A change is taking place in the top position of ECPAT international; Dorothy Rozga will leave the organisation. This means The Code will lose an important Board member and Code supporter. Dorothy has devoted her working life to child protection, very successfully. It was therefore an honour for The Code to have Dorothy personally as a Board member for the last 5 years.

As an active board member she shared with the organisation her extensive knowledge on child protection and her holistic view and visionary approach towards the future for best helping children. Furthermore, she opened up her professional network and above all promoted The Code as the multi-stakeholder initiative to protect children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. The Board thanked Dorothy for her devotion to the Code, and presented a plaque of appreciation.

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