Presented is a simple, tangible way of getting involved by speaking up in defense of children violated for profit.
At the close of this article is a link to contact Steve Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels. Please take a moment to write him, encouraging him to sign the ECPAT Code of Conduct and implement business practices that will prevent acts of sexual assault against children from occurring in hotels managed by Choice Hotels.
The article below is reposted from Change.org
by Amanda Kloer
Photo credit: TheMarque
Published December 08, 2009 @ 01:00PM PT
Right now, children are falling prey to sex trafficking in American-owned hotels all over the world, and even right here at home. Just last month, 5-year-old Shaniya Davis was sold for sex at a Comfort Inn in North Carolina. Companies like Choice Hotels, the parent company of the Comfort Inn where Shaniya was sold, have the power to help prevent this kind of tragedy. Send a letter to Choice Hotels asking them to prevent child prostitution here.
Choice Hotels can help prevent child prostitution with one simple action: signing the ECPAT Code of Conduct (www.thecode.org). More than 900 companies around the world (very few of them from the U.S.) have been willing to take this simple, effective action. By refusing to commit to eradicating child sex trafficking, American-owned hotels are signaling their indifference to the plight of children.
Beginning in 2004, the child protection-focused nonprofit ECPAT-USA has asked major U.S.-based hotel chains to sign the Code of Conduct. Carlson Companies — owners of Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, and others — proudly declared their commitment to protecting children. A few others made some positive steps, but ultimately failed to embrace the full range of actions they can and should take. Choice Hotels has not returned correspondence regarding the recent tragedy at one of their hotels or outlined the steps they intend to take to prevent what happened to Shaniya from happening to other girls. Why won’t Choice Hotels prevent child prostitution?
The most shocking thing about the pimping of Shaniya Davis for sex at a North Carolina Choice Hotels property is that this is not the first child prostitution scandal the brand has faced. Earlier this year, a 14-year-old girl was reported to have been sending a letter to Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce>, telling him to sign the ECPAT Code of Conduct and commit to preventing child sex tourism in Choice Hotel hotels.
The ECPAT Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children From Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.
Under this voluntary Code, a company agrees to:
1. Establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children
2. Train the personnel in the country of origin and travel destinations.
3. Introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating the common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
4. Provide information to travelers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films, ticketslips, web-sites, etc.
5. Provide information to local ”key persons” at the destinations.
6. Report annually.
Together, we can end child prostitution.