The course is available in several languages, including German, Dutch, Italian, Estonian, Spanish and French. Swedish and Thai will be available at the end of 2010.
ECPAT has nearly 1,000 businesses that have signed their Child Protection Code. One of the clauses of the code stipulates that employees should be trained to deal with the various issues that arise with the commercial sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.
ECPAT created thisonline courseas a first step in implementing this clause and to provide businesses and the general public free training materials to combat trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.
"Even if tourism is not the reason for sexual exploitation of children, we have to realize that offenders often use the tourism structures for their criminal intents," said Andreas Mueseler a member of the Steering committee for the code of conduct. "Our task is to safeguard tourism business in our own interest and in the interest of the local communities. This issue is important for all tourism professionals; we all can contribute to implement theChild Protection Code."
ECPAT reports that the response from the tourism sector is very positive. Stakeholders and partners say the course as innovative and “right-to-the-point” in terms of easy accessibility being cost-free and efficient. Even though the e-learning course can not substitute in-depth trainings by professional child-protection experts, it provides a good basis for future capacity building.
The course is freeof charge and can easily be completed at the employee’s work- place in a short amount of time. Video-clips and interactive units provide stimulating material without shocking images.
The content includes background information on where and why children are exploited, how this is related to tourism and how tourism professionals can take action at their individual workplaces.
With the modular structure of the course tourism experts are provided with area-specific information so that no matter if travel agent, decision-maker, tour operator or hotel staff: Everyone can learn how to apply the Child Protection Code according to their respective workplaces.