Riu Hotels and Resorts signs The Code

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.     RIU Hotels & Resorts, in adhering to this initiative, promises to apply the following six criteria:  

  • To establish a corporate ethical policy against the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.
  • To train staff in all the countries where they operate.
  • To introduce a clause in contracts with providers to establish common rejection of the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.
  • To supply information to customers by means of informative material and our website.
  • To supply information to “key local agents” in each destination.
  • To report annually on the implementation of these points.

RIU Hotels, by committing to these criteria, works in an active way in the fight against sexual tourism involving boys, girls and teenagers in the international hotel industry, by strengthening the networks and mechanisms to combat this problem.  

Find more information: _ www.fapmi.es _ http://www.ecpat.net  

About RIU: 

The international RIU chain was founded in Mallorca by the Riu family in 1953 as a small holiday firm and is still owned by the family’s third generation.

The company specialises in holiday resorts and 60% of its establishments offer its acclaimed All Inclusive by RIU service. With the inauguration of its first city hotel in 2010, RIU is expanding its range of products with its own line of city hotels called Riu Plaza.

RIU Hotels & Resorts now has more than 100 hotels in 16 countries which welcome over 3,2 million guests a year and provide jobs for a total of 25,000 employees. RIU is currently the world’s 30th ranked chain, one of the Caribbean’s most popular and the fourth largest in Spain.  

For further information: Press Department // Tel: +34 971 74 30 30 // prensa@riu.com

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