The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports it renewed its commitment to lead the travel industry in an ongoing battle against human trafficking and child sex tourism, formally joining the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) “Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking” campaign. By joining the campaign, ASTA pledges to work with partners across the transportation and travel industries.
“Human trafficking, including child sex tourism, is one of the greatest atrocities of the 21st century. We are in a unique position to help put an end to the victimization of children, and ASTA, as the representative of the retail travel industry, is the group to lead the charge,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President and CEO. “Nothing would give greater satisfaction to my travel industry colleagues than seeing this scourge eradicated.”
ASTA notes it has a long record of leadership on this issue. In 2004 ASTA adopted the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. ASTA was the first association with global reach to adopt the Code.
As part of its commitment to ending the sexual exploitation of children, ASTA, among other things, agreed to establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children and introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
ASTA now requires that its meetings hosts and host hotels sign a contract repudiating the commercial sexual exploitation of children, forbidding such activities to be conducted in facilities, including hotels, related to the ASTA event and to immediately take all appropriate legal and other steps to terminate such activities.