CHICAGO, July 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading online travel company Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) today announced its commitment to fight commercial sexual exploitation of children by partnering with ECPAT-USA in support of the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct – otherwise known as "The Code." ECPAT is the leading global network of organizations that is dedicated to ending child prostitution and recently received the 2013 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, given annually to an organization that is significantly alleviating human suffering.
The Code is an industry-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to combat the sexual exploitation of children in contexts related to travel. In support of this mission, Orbitz Worldwide will meet the following six criteria:
1. Establish corporate policy and procedures against sexual exploitation of children.
2. Train employees in children's rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases.
3. Include a clause in future partner contracts stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
4. Provide information to travelers on children's rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and how to report suspected cases.
5. Support, collaborate and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
6. Report annually on the company's implementation of Code-related activities.
"The travel industry can be an unwitting facilitator of these crimes as traffickers use any available means to exploit children," said Orbitz Worldwide CEO Barney Harford. "In partnering with ECPAT-USA and supporting The Code, we will use our professional resources and partnerships in the travel and tourism industry to combat sexual exploitation of children."
"We are thrilled to have an important company like Orbitz Worldwide join the family of organizations working to protect children," said ECPAT-USA Executive Director Carol Smolenski. "Companies that sign the Code are having a huge impact because tens of thousands of people are being trained to identify victims and to know how to react. We thank Orbitz for joining us to stop child slavery at the source."
About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) is a leading global online travel company using technology to transform the way consumers around the world plan and purchase travel. Orbitz Worldwide operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com) and CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network (www.orbitz.com/OPN) delivers private label travel technology solutions to a broad range of partners including some of the world`s largest airlines and travel agencies, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. Orbitz Worldwide makes investor relations information available at investors.orbitz.com.
ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 73 countries. For more information visit www.ecpatusa.org