The code is an international voluntary initiative that enables tourism businesses to prevent and report on the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. Local Code representatives are responsible for raising awareness about this multifaceted problem and dedicated to supporting travel and tourism companies to become signatories and implement the code. The Code has received numerous international awards and is endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
The code is being explored in South Africa tourism as a means of raising awareness about child sexual exploitation and building capacity within the sector to prevent abuse and report offenders. While CST is not strongly associated with South Africa as a tourist destination, high poverty levels and growing inequality suggest that tens of thousands of children in the country are at risk of sexual and other forms of exploitation. Domestic as well as foreign tourist may knowingly or unknowingly become involved in child exploitation by transacting sex with an underage sex worker or buying goods from a trader exploiting child labour.
“The whole African tourism industry needs to take a collective stance in this matter by demonstating zero tolerance to exploiters and making it a safe place for all children.” Said Mmatsatsi Marobes, CEO of the Tourism Business council of South Africa.
The Code international www.thecode.org
Written by : John Savage