Exo Travel, First Tour Operator to be ChildSafe Certified

The ChildSafe Movement, a global solution for leadership in child protection in the Tourism Industry congratulates Exo Travel

The ChildSafe Movement, a global movement protecting children from all forms of abuse, is pleased to announce the revamp of its company certification dedicated to the tourism industry, and congratulates EXO Travel Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar for their achievement in being the first travel agencies to be ChildSafe Certified. “400 EXO Travel staff were trained to acquire the knowledge about ways to provide a childsafe tourism experience for travellers. The process of being ChildSafe Certified took some six months,” said Valérie Sfeir, International Coordinator for ChildSafe Movement.

ChildSafe is a global child protection movement initiated in 2005 by FriendsInternational. It both implements and advocates for child protection policies and practices by giving the opportunity to everyone to take action. Its initiatives provide the highest standards of protection to all children and youth, involving key members within all tiers of society and the international community.

The tourism industry represents a key role in protecting children globally. By becoming ChildSafe certified, EXO Travel set an example by committing to the ChildSafe 7 standards. “We of course adapt the program to each country as issues and problems face by children vary from one country to another,” added Valérie Sfeir.

Besides implementing a Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct in their daily business—protecting their clients, employees and company—they ensure that their services are not only child-friendly and protective, but also answering the needs of the community, parents, and youth. More than 400 of their staff have been trained and tested. Known as ChildSafe Agents, they are now able to identify and respond immediately to a child in danger.

All EXO customers receive the ‘ChildSafe 7 Tips for Travelers’. These seven tips provide them with information and alternatives. Available in 15 languages, they are also distributed and visible at airports and travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and other outlets. All ChildSafe alliance partners, supporters and certified businesses can easily be identified by the characteristic “thumbs up” logo, and are listed on the ChildSafe website, along with all related information and the important and acclaimed 7 tips  for travelers.

Exo Travel is the first one to be ChildSafe Certified but, “We expect a lot more companies to join the certification over the years to come ; not only tour operators but also hotels, restaurants or even shops,” added Valérie Sfeir. Currently, certification is in the process for 4 companies in Thailand, 1 in Lao PDR, 1 in Vietnam and 1 in Myanmar.

Based in Cambodia, Friends-International (FI) is a leading social enterprise saving lives and building futures of the most marginalized children and youth, as well as their families and their communities, in South East Asia and across the world. It powers and implements the ChildSafe Movement globally.

See video at: http://www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforedonating/