ECPAT Belgium has been appointed as Local Code Representative in Belgium. This is an official recognition of the work we have been doing for so many years in engaging the tourism industry to better protect children’s rights.

The Code

For now on, we will be the contact point for any company based in Belgium which wants to raise awareness on the issue and train their staff.

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »

Danielle Van Kerckhoven, administrator and founder of ECPAT Belgique (left) & Caro van Eekelen, Chief Operating Officer à ACCOR Hotel Services BeNeLux (right)

ECPAT Belgium is pleased to announce the signing by ACCOR Belgium of the « Code of Conduct for the protection of children against the sexual commercial exploitation in tourism », an important step on the day before the 25th anniversary of the International Convention for the Rights of the Child. Belgium is therefore to become the 37th country in which the hotel group makes this commitment.

The fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children requires the engagement of  all sectors in contact with the victims or the potential abusers. The ACCOR Group is a major actor of the tourism industry with 3600 hotels all around the world. Working alongside ECPAT International since many years through this Code, ACCOR has decided to enhance its commitment by signing the Code at the Belgian level.

This signature marks the beginning of the implementation of the 6 criteria of the Code in Belgium. Concretely, this symbolic act commits the hotel Group to set up clear procedures to fight sexual commercial exploitation of children and to train its staff on the issue in order to prevent and report the abuse.

From January on and in close collaboration with ECPAT Belgium, all staff will be trained to react when facing a suspicious situation of a case of sexual exploitation of children. « No one should let a child being abused, and it is important that every staff member knows what to do in case of a suspicious  situation » has explained Katlijn Declercq, Vice-Chair of ECPAT International. ACCOR Belgium will also have to provide travelers with information on the possibilities to alert on suspicious cases. The group will raise awareness among its customers to the new I say STOP ! website and disseminate ECPAT’s documentation so that they know what to do when a suspicious situation is occurring.

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »