The Code of Conduct is an initiative set up to protect children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. There are an increasing sensitivity and awareness to social and ethical issues in the tourism industry. This is the fastest growing economic sector worldwide and while the Costa Rica Tourism industry isn’t responsible nor accused of encouraging this complex social problem, they were asked to contribute and react to it.
We as an agency, dedicate ourselves to promoting responsible and sustainable development in Costa Rica Tourism by helping protect human rights.
We can make a difference!
The Costa Rica Tourism industry, through working directly with clients and through the coordination of services such as accommodation, transportation and tours, is a unique position to combat this unwanted phenomenon and take responsibility to increase awareness of it.
Through the implementation of the Code of Conduct, professionals in the travel industry show their commitment to putting ethics and values above profits by actively striving to promote socially responsible tourism and protect our greatest resources – our children.
Background and Influential Organizations Behind the Code
The tourism industry has been taking measures against the sexual exploitation of children since the early 1990’s. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) is a leading international organization in the field. They were one of the first to manifest their opposition to the development of tourism where children are exploited in their “Tourism Bill of Rights and Tourism Code” back in 1995.
In Costa Rica, the Code of Conduct is an important project for the tourist industry and is supported by The Paniamor Foundation together with the Costa Rican Tour Operators Association (ACOT). The Costa Rican Professionals in Tourism Association (ACOPROT) and World Vision Costa Rica funded by Fundecooperación.
My Costa Rica signs & supports the Code of Conduct
In November of 2012, My Costa Rica formally re-confirmed its commitment towards promoting responsible and sustainable tourism. We signed The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children and Adolescents from Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Tourism. As an agency, we have the firm commitment to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and young people in all the regions within Costa Rica. As professionals in the tourism industry, we have adopted the position of zero tolerance and also strive to educate all members of our staff and providers of the importance of this initiative. My Costa Rica also supports the Code of Ethics!
Other organization striving for a better Costa Rica: Seeds of Hope
Seeds of hope is active in most of Central America but was born in Quepos, Costa Rica. In its early years, Seeds of Hope served as a shelter for those exposed to sexual exploitation.
Over the years, however, they have grown into a safe haven for youngsters who live below the poverty line and have fallen victim to violence, alcohol and drug abuse. Education, counseling, and recreational activities are provided in the two club houses located in Parrita and Palomo.
Read out article on Top 10 Initiatives Striving for a better Costa Rica and visit our sustainability page to learn about our efforts in protecting Costa Rica and how YOU can help!