Advocacy delegates and community walk and talk, Cambodia

Reality Tours has promoted meaningful travel since 1989. We know socially responsible tourism benefits the host economy and that the more local people benefit from tourism, the more likely it is that women receive these benefits. However, there are many negative impacts associated with mass tourism. Sex tourism is an egregious and growing trend that we have witnessed further exploiting and eroding the rights of women and children worldwide.

Because of this Reality Tours became a signatory to ECPAT’s Code of Conduct in 2010.  Tour operators can make a positive difference and do a lot to educate our communities about this growing exploitative industry.

Anti-Human Trafficking Delegation meeting with Gulu Youth Development Association

ECPAT International is a global network of organizations working together for the elimination of child trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography. The network is comprised of 81 groups in 74 countries around the world.

Since signing in 2010, Reality Tours has worked to train ourselves and train our partners and hosts. We’ve updated our materials to include this Code of Conduct, and proactively informed our travelers. This was an important, practical next step for us- especially after partnering with Not For Sale for the past 4 years on our advocacy delegations.

Bringing our public education efforts about global human trafficking back “home”, we’d like to share a new documentary released by ECPAT-USA and  WITNESS that exposes the lack of adequate child sex trafficking laws in the US.  “What I’ve Been Through Is Not Who I Am,” tells the story of Katrina, a formerly sexually exploited teen who was arrested many times. It was only after she accepted an offer of help from a safe haven that she was able to escape.

Please take a moment to learn how legislative reform measures and new approaches can shift our collective response from a punitive one to a restorative one. When you hear Katrina’s personal story you’ll understand that we are jailing children in the US, that there is no such “thing” as a child prostitute, and that it is time to change our system.

Meet the People

If you’re interested in exploring this issue, consider the transformational power of Reality Tours delegations on Human Trafficking. You’ll meet modern day abolitionists first hand and hear stories of struggle and triumph. Join us.

Global Exchange Reality Tours and ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking  of Children for Sexual Purposes) have signed The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.  The Code of Conduct is a tool that promotes the cooperation of the travel and tourism industry to prevent and combat sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.  The Code of Conduct was designed in 1998 by ECPAT Sweden in cooperation with Scandinavian tour operators and the World Tourism Organization.  Since 2000, the Code has expanded as an ECPAT project, as part of a campaign signed by the European Union, led and supported by the World Tourism Organization.

The Code, which is promoted and supported by UNICEF globally, has been adopted worldwide by over 900 tour operators, hotels, travel agencies and their associations, such as trade unions from 34 European countries, Asia, North America, Central and Latin America.

Global Exchange Reality Tours agrees to take the following actions:
1. Adopt an ethical corporate policy against sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
2. Train all staff about sexual exploitation of children and adolescents and how to prevent it.
3. Introduce a clause in their contracts with suppliers that declare their common rejection of commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
4. Inform tourists by various means they deem appropriate (catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, videos, websites.
5. Provide information to local actors who are key in tourist destinations.
6. Report annually on implementation of the above criteria.

The Code of Conduct was signed by Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT USA, and Malia Everette, Director of Reality Tours at Global Exchange.

“Global Exchange’s Reality Tours help to promote social, economic and environmental justice around the world. By signing the Code of Conduct, it is also taking a stand in favor of every child’s right to grow up free from sexual exploitation.  Reality Tours staff will receive new training about what child sexual exploitation is and how to prevent it, and when and where to report it.  We are delighted to have them join us,” said Carol Smolenski Executive Director of ECPAT-USA.

Malia Everette, Director of Reality Tours, stated that “the Code of Conduct is a natural fit for us. We have long been leaders in supporting responsible tourism and as a human rights organization Global Exchange supports global and national, economic and environmental justice. The Code is yet another vital tool for us to ensure responsible interaction with local communities, to educate our participants and partners, and to protect the rights of children and adolescents.  We are happy to partner with ECPAT-USA on this initiative.”

ECPAT USA is the U.S. branch of ECPAT International, a network of organisations and individuals working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It seeks to encourage the world community to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights free from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

Reality Tours is honored to sign the Code. Clearly doing so is a natural and significant extension of the work we have been doing as a human rights organization, as a socially responsible tour operator, and as a partner with Not For Sale and  other to inspire education, advocacy and abolitionism!