ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 14, 2019) – Wyndham Destinations (NYSE:WYND), the world’s largest vacation ownership and exchange company, today became the first timeshare company to sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct with ECPAT-USA. The formal agreement solidifies the commitment Wyndham Destinations has previously made at its 225 managed vacation club resorts in North America, the Caribbean, and Asia Pacific to combat human trafficking. By signing the agreement, the company joins many of the major hotel chains in actively protecting children from exploitation.
Corporate partners help mitigate the risks associated with a crime that affects millions of youth worldwide. By signing The Code and joining ECPAT-USA in the fight against trafficking, organizations become part of the ECPAT-USA family of advocates, who are all making critical headway toward ending child slavery at the source.
As the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children, ECPAT-USA focuses on awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in 95 countries working together toward one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children.
Traffickers are known to use hotels, airlines, and other travel infrastructure to exploit or transport their victims. Hotels can play a key role in preventing and disrupting the commercial sexual exploitation of children by training employees to recognize and report suspected incidents to the appropriate authorities.
This year, Wyndham Destinations produced its first Social Responsibility Report, including a Human Rights Policy Statement, in which the company pledges to operate in a manner consistent with the principles contained in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
“Wyndham Destinations is committed to protecting human rights within our sphere of influence and doing our part to combat all forms of human trafficking,” said James Savina, general counsel and corporate secretary of Wyndham Destinations. “The travel and tourism industry has an important role in preventing the exploitation of children. By partnering with ECPAT and promoting required training and education to associates globally, we have taken a stand against the commercial sexual exploitation of children.”
“We are excited to announce this new partnership with Wyndham Destinations,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “As the first timeshare company to join The Code, Wyndham Destinations is helping to engage with a previously untapped sector of the travel industry in the fight to protect children from trafficking and exploitation.”
By signing The Code, Wyndham Destinations commits to making progress around six essential steps to keep children safe. The company will: Establish a Policy and procedures; Train employees; Include a clause in contracts; Provide information to travelers; Support, collaborate & engage stakeholders; and Annually report progress on The Code to ECPAT.