Our Child Protection Policy

Our Child Protection Policy
April 2010


Real Gap Experiences is committed to child protection - both those we take on holiday and those in the destinations we visit.


We condemn the exploitation of children, a fundamental abuse of a child's human rights and dignity, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate business with any person or company that is engaged or associated with any form of exploitation. Travel and tourism businesses have an important role to play in protecting children's rights.


Background information:


Child protection refers to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children - including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage. Violations of the child's right to protection take place in every country and are massive, under-recognised and under-reported barriers to child survival and development, in addition to being human rights violations.

(Source: UNICEF Child Protection Information Sheet http://www.unicef.org/publications/)


Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (http://www.thecode.org). Child sex tourism (CST) is defined as the commercial sexual exploitation of children by men or women who travel from one place to another, usually from a richer country to one that is less developed, and there engage in sexual acts with children, defined as anyone aged under 18.

(Source: ECPAT International website http://www.ecpat.net/EL/CSEC_terminology.asp)


Child abuse can take four forms, all of which can cause long term damage to a child: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and child sexual abuse. Bullying and domestic violence are also forms of child abuse.

(Source: UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/ )


UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

(Source: UN Global Compact website www.unglobalcompact.org )


UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people (aged 17 and under) a comprehensive set of rights.

(Source: Unicef - http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publications/rightsleaflet2011.pdf )


Many businesses across the Group are introducing a sustainable development addendum as part of accommodation contracts. This means that each hotelier must initiate (or continue to develop) a sustainability programme, managing their impacts on the environment, their employees and the local community. The child protection clauses include:


  • Ensure that children are protected against sexual abuse or exploitation on the premises and that the Supplier and its employees are aware of The Child-Protection Code against sexual exploitation of children and follow its recommendations, such as reporting any suspicious behaviour from guests to relevant local authorities.
  • Ensure that if persons aged 17 or under are employed, they are afforded full protection in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and local legislation, and are provided with favourable working times and favourable conditions of work specifically designed to protect them.

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