Regulate its Ethical Behaviour Concerning the Sexual Exploitation of
Minors in Brazil; Adopted by Accor's 140 Hotels in South America
|October 3, 2005 - Orlando de Souza, Director of Operations for Accor
Hotels, will announce next Thursday September 8 in Rio de Janeiro the introduction
of the Brazilian hotel sector’s first code of conduct. Known as the "Tourism
Code of Conduct Against the Sexual Exploitation of Minors", it will be
adopted by the 140 hotels of Accor’s six chains in seven South American
The Code will be presented at the III ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) International Assembly, and will also be officially endorsed by ECPAT the same day, making it a global standard in the sector. "Accor Hotels is committed to its role in the tourism segment, and wishes to make clear to our partners, clients, suppliers and staff its rejection of any and all forms of the sexual exploitation of minors", says Mr. de Souza.
With this initiative, a pioneering effort in the domestic hotel industry, Accor Hotels – the leading hotel operator in Brazil and South America and offering the largest and most complete range of accommodation in the business, incentive and leisure segments - is taking a firm stand on a worldwide problem which involves more and more organizations and companies in a growing number of countries. "In recent years, tourism has enjoyed tremendous growth in the Brazilian market", says de Souza, noting that “the sexual exploitation of minors in Brazil has reared its ugly head due to irresponsible groups in some sectors of the tourism industry".
As a company involved in the development of sustainable tourism and the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors in Brazil, Accor Hotels has designed the Tourism Code of Conduct to guide and regulate its ethical behaviour, and to comply with the Brazilian Federal Constitution, the Statute of Children and Adolescents, and other international agreements that reject the sexual exploitation of minors.
“ECPAT’s support and endorsement of the Accor Hotels Code of Conduct underlines the seriousness of the company’s actions in relation to the subject", says de Souza.
More than 200 ECPAT delegates from 67 countries will join international specialists in Rio de Janeiro to plan global actions against the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Every three years, the International Assembly meets to review all advancements in the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Carmen Madriñan, Executive-director of ECPAT, notes that "Brazil was chosen as the site for the III Assembly thanks to the work being carried out by the Government and NGOs against the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents".
ALARMING FACT: IN BRAZIL, 100,000 CASES OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF MINORS ARE REPORTED EVERY YEAR
Social tolerance, silence, fear, shame and impunity are the biggest allies everywhere of those who sexually exploit minors. Brazil registers one of the saddest incidence rates: about 10% of the world’s sexually exploited minors are in this country, representing 100,000 victims per year in Brazil, according to data from the 2002 ECPAT International and OIT/IPEC Worldwide Congress.
Sexual violence against minors is divided into sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation, and the fight against both is marked by a special day (May 18), called the National Day of Combating the Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents. Both areas have also been receiving increased attention from the Brazilian Government, particularly after the creation of the National Plan to Confront Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents in 2000. Additionally, President Lula has made the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of minors a priority of his administration, and established an inter-departmental commission to tackle the problem, which is now treated as a crime.
"The biggest consequence for countries that don’t adopt a policy to prevent and combat the commercial sexual exploitation of minors is their decline as tourist destinations", warns Mr. de Souza. He also adds that around the world, "these destinations will increasingly be recognized as outcasts".
ACCOR HOTELS CODE OF CONDUCT IN SOUTH AMERICA
The Tourism Code of Conduct Against the Sexual Exploitation of Minors is an instrument to help protect children and adolescents against sexual exploitation. It is a formal declaration offering guidance and regulations on the ethical conduct of Accor Hotels, a company which is actively engaged in the development of sustainable tourism and the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors.
Written in three languages - Portuguese, English and Spanish – the Code complies with the Federal Constitution, the Statute of Children and Adolescents and other international agreements to which Brazil is party, and will be adopted by all 140 Accor hotels in South America.
Through the ethical conduct described in the Code’s seven principles, each Accor hotel is committed to: (1) develop consistent policies against any form of sexual exploitation of minors; (2) inform, educate and guide all staff members about the policy and actions of the company and applicable legislation, as well as act at all times against every act that characterizes the sexual exploitation of minors, reporting facts and suspicious acts, as well as individuals possibly involved; (3) establish clauses in guest accommodation agreements which explicitly declare the rejection of any form of the sexual exploitation of minors; and (4) reject any and all advertising that encourages the sexual exploitation of minors.
Principle number five deals with training staff members through courses and lectures, while number six commits staff to take all precautions against a commercial relationship with any tourism-related business which, knowingly or unknowingly, is involved with the enticement and sexual abuse of minors.
The seventh principle of the Code is with respect to guests. "It is important to make clear to guests and hotel visitors that we are wholeheartedly committed to the protection of children and that the sexual exploitation of minors is a crime", de Souza affirms.
About the presence of Accor Hotels in South America
Accor Hotels began its South American operations in Brazil 29 years
ago with the Novotel brand. This hotel, which opened in 1977 in the Morumbi
district of São Paulo, marked the introduction of the first international
superior category chain in the country and also the start of a nexus of
hotel development in São Paulo city’s southern zone.
|Also See:||Accor and Club Méditerranée Identify Synergies and Priorities / December 2004|
|Accor Opening Sofitel Hotels in Guangzhou and Shanghai / September 2005|