Sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism are acts of sexual exploitation of children that are embedded in a context of travel and tourism.

The issue

The world has become a much smaller place thanks to the explosion over recent years in access to international travel, but along with this comes an industry specific increase in the sexual exploitation of children. Tourism may be booming, but the human impact is high, especially for the most vulnerable.

In the 20 years since the First World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm, the context in which children are sexually abused in travel and tourism has been utterly transformed, but our understanding of the latest developments and effective responses has remained limited. The lack of evaluation of the many initiatives to date has made it difficult to assess their impact and, therefore, to guide policy makers on what actually works.

Our response

The Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism is an ECPAT initiative, guided by a High-Level Taskforce and 61 contributing partners. Through nearly 2,500 pages of expertise and research, it reviews emerging trends and explores possible solutions to inform policy makers, galvanise political will and mobilise coordinated action to end this exploitation. All reports are available at www.globalstudysectt.org

We also support the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, known as The Code; an industry-led initiative designed to give companies in the travel and tourism sector practical tools to protect children. It has over 270 members from around the world, ranging from small businesses to multinational hotel chains and airlines.

The Code aims to create a highly aware and well-trained tourism industry that can recognise and prevent potential abuse. We recognise that the travel and tourism industry is not the cause of child sexual exploitation, but we do believe it can play an important role in preventing this crime.