TDC Offers Guidelines To Help Agents Prevent Child Sex Tourism
Distribution Canada (TDC) has made public new guidelines designed to help
travel agents across the country be better equipped to prevent child sex
years now, we have been raising awareness among our employees, partners and
customers, so that everybody understands that the sexual exploitation of
children and teens is a crime. Today, we are going one step further, in the
hope that all travel agents in Canada will join in
the effort," says TDC GM Joseph Adamo.
2010, Transat has partnered with Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada, a
non-governmental organization that promotes the rights of children and is
actively engaged in the fight against all forms of child exploitation. Transat
says it was the first tour operator in Canada to offer child
and teen sex tourism awareness training to its employees, and has spoken out
against the issue in a broad effort to make all travellers aware that this is a
course, this is a very sensitive issue, and only a small number of travellers
will eventually engage in this activity, but travel advisors across the country
cannot remain passive," notes Susan Bowman,
TDC VP, Marketing and Industry Relations.
today, we are sharing our guidelines with the entire community, to help agents
deal with sensitive situations that occur from time to time," she adds.
"Our message is clear: our 3,000 advisors, in our 540 agencies, are urged
to refuse to sell a trip to anybody explicitly travelling to have sex with
minors. But this will be useless if customers just cross the street and go to
another agency. This is an appeal to the entire community of travel agents in Canada: let's
do this together."
says there is a widely held myth that tourists who sexually exploit children
and teens are exclusively pedophiles. In fact, so-called situational offenders
are the most common type of sex tourist.
may be men or women, married or single, and from all socio-economic
backgrounds. They most likely do not plan to exploit a minor before leaving the
country on business or for a holiday, and would never dare engage in such acts
take advantage of their stay in another country to have an "exotic"
experience, perhaps under the impression that their actions are tolerated under
local laws and customs, and believing that by paying money for sex, they will
be financially "helping" the child and his or her family.
says it believes there is reason to hope that the behaviour of situational
offenders can be changed, if as many people as possible are made aware of this
end, for the past five years the company has supported the annual Beyond
Borders ECPAT Canada Media Awards, which recognize journalists across the
country for reporting on issues related to sexual exploitation of children and
addition, Transat has published a Q & A for travel agents to help evaluate what
actions, if any, should be taken.
The customer hasn’t done
anything wrong, but I have reason to believe there is ill intent. Is there
something I can do at this stage? Can I report the person?
You can transmit the customer’s
name to the Canadian organization Cybertip.ca if you have substantial grounds
to believe they intend to commit sexual offence with children and/or
adolescents. You can discuss the situation with your supervisor before filing a
Cybertip.ca is Canada’s tip line
for reporting the sexual exploitation of children, online or elsewhere, and
external is a program operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. A
reporting person has the option of remaining anonymous.
consult the Q and A for travel agents, and to learn more about the issue of
child sexual exploitation around the world, click here.