Destination Mekong – responsible and safe forms of voluntourism
DESTINATION MEKONG – SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL & TOURISM RECOVERY WITH CHILD PROTECTION IN FOCUS
LAUNCH of THE CODE VOLUNTOURISM POLICY
The webinar recording is now available online here:
As part of sustainable and responsible travel and tourism development, the industry must ensure that only responsible and safe forms of voluntourism are undertaken. Companies should exclude visits to orphanages from tourism packages as it drives institutionalisation which causes harm to children.
Without regulation and care, some forms of voluntourism allow un-vetted access to children that puts them at risk of being trafficked and sexually exploited. To address this issue, ECPAT International and The Code in cooperation with the Destination Mekong Child Protection Experts Group composed of ASSET-H&C powered by Institut européen de coopération et de développement (IECD), Sampan Travel and Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRT) through an Advisor, as well as other key partners developed a voluntourism policy for companies, organisations and entities to protect children.
The Code (short for The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the travel and tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. The Code’s Voluntourism Policy can be used by its members and other organisations and entities, to protect children.