REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018

Child Protection

Millions of children become the victims of sexual violence and exploitation each year. In many cases, sexual offenders misuse the tourism infrastructure for these purposes. For this reason, the travel industry has a special responsibility to help to protect children.

As a way of permanently integrating sustainability into company processes, REWE Group has drawn up a comprehensive sustainability strategy that consists of four central pillars: Green Products; Energy, Climate and the Environment; Employees; and Social Involvement. As part of the pillar Social Involvement, four areas of actions have been defined to develop targeted measures: healthy diets and exercise; opportunities for children and adolescents; vigilant approach to food and biodiversity; and environmental protection. With its activities in the area of action focussing on opportunities for children and adolescents, REWE Group is working for example to protect children.

GRI 413: Local communities

Management Approach

DER Touristik employs a very ambitious child protection policy. In 2012, it defined a set of principles within its child protection policy that are designed to protect the children of the holiday country and those of guests and to observe their rights within the tourism industry. The child protection policy is widely communicated at all destinations and is a key topic in the training concept used for employees at destination areas (hotel employees and travel guides). They are sensitised about the topic and learn what to do if they suspect that something is amiss. In 2017, the training concept was expanded to employees at headquarters locations, at destination agencies and for important partners.

On 11 March 2016, Sören Hartmann, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DER Touristik Group, signed “The Code”, a code of conduct that is designed to prevent children from being sexually exploited by tourists, during the ITB tourism trade fair in Berlin.
This code was initiated by the German Travel Association on behalf of its members and is based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. ECPAT Deutschland e.V. – a working group for the protection of children from sexual exploitation – oversees its implementation and supports DER Touristik as an expert partner. With its signature, DER Touristik expressed its commitment to the code and pledged to observe and implement the following aspects, most of which have already been introduced:

  • Implementation of guidelines and measures to prevent the sexual exploitation of children
  • Provision of employee training about the rights of children, the prevention of sexual exploitation and the reporting of suspected cases
  • Acceptance of a clause in hotel agreements rejecting sexual exploitation and refusing to tolerate it in any way
  • Provision of information to travellers about the rights of children, the prevention of sexual exploitation and the reporting of suspected cases
  • Support of and collaboration with stakeholders in the fight against sexual exploitation of children
  • An annual report about the implementation of “The Code”
DER Touristik also vigorously carries out activities as part of its information and prevention concept. This work includes actively informing travellers about the protection of children from sexual exploitation during holidays and sensitising tourism students and trainees about the issue. In addition, DER Touristik plays an active role in the preparation of an annual destination workshop organised by the German Travel Association and ECPAT. The workshop is designed for hotels, agencies and tour operators at holiday resorts that have a high risk of sexual exploitation of children. It is conducted in cooperation with local organisations and authorities. In recent years, workshops have been held in the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Kenya. The most recent two workshops were held on Bali in 2018. The destination agency of DER Touristik also had an eight-hour training session there.

GRI 413-2:

Operations with significant actual and potential negative impacts on local communities

In the Travel and Tourism area, REWE Group has joined the fight against sexual exploitation of minors and violence against children. In cooperation with the non-government organisation ECPAT Deutschland e.V., DER Touristik and especially the business travel specialist DER Business Travel work to prevent children from being sexually exploited.

DER Touristik conducted the following activities during the 2018 financial year:

  • Six training courses in the hotels of DER Touristik (Tunisia, Austria, Greece)
  • Training courses and presentations as part of destination workshops in Sanur and Ubud on Bali that were organised by the German Travel Association and ECPAT Deutschland e.V
  • Training courses on sustainability for 109 new employees at the headquarters locations of DER Touristik Germany as part of the onboarding process
  • Intensive public relations work (fliers, presence at trade fairs, customer events and press releases)
  • Promotion of the international platform “Nicht Wegsehen” (Don’t Look Away) where people can report real and suspected cases of criminal activity
  • Membership in the working group on child protection of the German Travel Association
  • An introductory workshop on the subjects of sustainability and human rights in tourism for all trainees at the headquarters in Cologne
During the reporting period, DER Touristik conducted 10 seminars about child protection at five destinations. During the following activities in 2018, information and sensibilisation were offered on the issue of child protection:

 

  • Trade fairs
  • Customer events
  • Presentations to various committees (customers, partners)
  • Conferences
  • Collaboration with ECPAT and “The Code”
  • Press releases, fliers
  • Customer interviews
  • Trade association work
The subject of child protection was also added to the orientation plan for new headquarters employees.

Further topics in this area:

Projects and Sponsorships

GRI 203