August1Sonesta International Hotels Corporation declared its intent to join ECPAT-USA, a tourism initiative dedicated to the prevention of the trafficking of children, at July’s Global Business Travel Association conference in Denver. As part of the important new partnership, Sonesta signed the organization’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (“The Code”).

The Code’s mission is to increase awareness and provide tools and support to those who work in the tourism industry, all with the goal of preventing the sexual exploitation of children, a crime which affects more than 1.8 million young people annually, according to ECPAT.

“At Sonesta, we place the highest priority on providing a comfortable and safe environment for all our guests while they are away from home,” said Carlos Flores, President & Chief Executive Officer of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation. “We’re extremely proud to sign The Code and join the vital effort to prevent human trafficking worldwide, for good.”

Of course, the welfare of children is important to us all, and always has been. By signing The Code, Sonesta has pledged to ECPAT-USA that it will take steps to formally incorporate the safety of children into its day to day operations. Throughout it’s properties, Sonesta will:

  1. Establish policies and procedures against sexual exploitation of children.
  2. Train employees in children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and reporting suspected cases.
  3. Include a clause in contracts throughout Sonesta stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
  4. Provide information to guests on children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and reporting suspected cases.
  5. Support, collaborate, and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
  6. Report annually on Sonesta’s implementation of Code related activities.

You can learn more about this important organization’s efforts at ECPAT-USA.