The connection between travel and tourism and the sexual exploitation of children might not be obvious. But as the travel and tourism industry expands with cheaper tickets and better connections, the opportunities for child sex offenders to exploit children also increases. No country or child is immune.
The travel and tourism industry is in a key position to protect children from this crime by making sure their services and venues are not misused by child sex offenders. Voluntourism, orphanage tourism and mega-events are examples where offenders easily can access and exploit children.
ECPAT conducted, together with 67 partners, the first-ever global study on the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, and to date, the only research on this issue. The initiative consisted of a series of regional and national studies, as well as independent contributions to give the most comprehensive picture. It reviews emerging trends and gives a series of concrete recommendations to inform policymakers, galvanise political will and mobilise coordinated action to end this exploitation.
The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism is an initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. By joining The Code, travel and tourism companies gain access to tools and resources to use in their daily operations. These member companies are demonstrating their commitment and leadership in the industry to keeping children safe.