The Code welcomes its newest members from Bulgaria

As the socially responsible leaders of the hospitality business, Novotel Sofia and ibis Sofia Airport, part of the Orbis Hotel Group and ECPAT Bulgaria have signed the Code of Conduct for Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

The event on December 4 2015 was hosted by Novotel Sofia and moderated by Mr. Maxim Behar – CEO of M3 Communications Group, Inc. and eminent journalist and former diplomat.

In her opening speech Mrs. Lydia Zagorova – Chairperson of Neglected Children Society – ECPAT Bulgaria focused on the importance of the Code of Conduct and presented the International Platform for reporting suspicious cases of child sex-tourism, the video-spot “Stop sexual exploitation of a child – Don’t look away!, the Serious game created by ECPAT for the purposes of training tourist industry staff and the campaign information materials.

Mr. Ireneusz Weglovski – Vice President of Orbis Hotel Group, Poland and Mr. Vincent Dujarden – General Manager of Novotel Sofia presented their policy of conducting constant staff trainings and expressed the commitment of their hotels to work for prevention of child sexual exploitation in tourism and travel.

The audience was addressed also by Mrs.Eva Zhecheva – Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, Mr. Yavor Kolev – Head of “Transnational Organised Crime and Human Trafficking” Department of the Chief Directorate “Combating Organised Crime” and Mrs. Nina Naidenova – Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports.

Foreign guests to the event were Mr. Zoltan Kiraly – Director Brand Operations, Communications & PR Eastern Europe, AccorHotels, Hungary and Mr. Nicolas Duynslaeger – ibis Hotels Group.

The event was attended by several TV channels, journalists from more than 10 newspapers and news agencies, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Tourism, State Agency for Child Protection, Heads of Regional Police Departments and representatives of General Directorate of National Police, General Directorate “Border Police”, National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and many other representatives of state institutions, NGOs and tourist branch organisations. A

ll participants received sets of Don’t look away! materials (posters, stickers and leaflets) and information materials about the history and goals of the Code of Conduct.

Novotel Sofia, Ibis Sofia Airport and ECPAT Bulgaria also signed memorandums of cooperation for the protection of children against sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

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