More hotels in the popular Caribbean city are certified to follow The Code of Conduct, an international initiative to restore and protect the rights of adolescents against sexual abuse, than in any other tourist destination worldwide.
Forty-five Cartagena lodging establishments are certified leaders against the sexual exploitation of children.
The Code is a project of EPCAT International, a non-governmental organization that fights against child pornography and trafficking for sexual purposes. The initiative is funded by UNICEF and supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Certified hotels agreed to establish an ethical policy towards the commercial exploitation of children, to train personnel in accordance with this policy, and to distribute information to travellers by means of catalogues, brochures, posters, websites, and other mediums. Signatories are also required to report progress and any incidents of minor exploitation.
“Our social responsibility,” proclaims the website of the Alfiz Hotel in Cartagena, “Alfiz Hotel was certified by ‘The Code’ to drive responsible tourism and protect children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.”
“What has been seen is a more consolidated effort in this city, which has permitted awareness of the problem to be raised, and more active reporting of it,” a UNICEF representative said.