Protection of Children in Tourism

UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection 

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UNWTO’s work in the field of child protection has spanned over more than fifteen years, principally manifesting itself through the endeavors of the international World Tourism Network on Child Protection (formerly the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism).

The open-ended Network aims to prevent all forms of child and youth exploitation in the tourism sector, including sexual exploitation, child labour and child trafficking. Its meetings serve as a platform for tourism stakeholders to exchange experiences and best practices, drawing together governments, the tourism industry, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and media associations. 

Reports of the Network’s meetings can be found here


Click to see What You Can Do Against Child Exploitation in Tourism 


Child Protection in the "Tips for a Responsible Traveller"

On the occasion of the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development, the World Committee on Tourism Ethics prepared the "Tips for a Responsible Traveller" (2017), a leaflet whose aim is to facilitate the understanding of the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism by tourists.

Protection of children represents one of the key principles contained in the leaflet, which reads: "Respect human rights and protect children from exploitation. Abusing children is a crime".

For some tips on how to protect children in tourismclick here.


32nd Meeting of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection 

Please click here to view the meeting report of the latest Network meeting held at ITB Berlin, 9 March 2017. 

15 years of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection

The15th anniversary of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection was marked by the publication of a Compilation of Good Practices, presented at ITB Berlin 2014.

The publication demonstrates the variety of strategies and actions that have been taken around the world to protect children from exploitation in tourism. The 16 initiatives featured in the compilation were selected from more than 170 presentations and reports delivered at Network meetings since 1997.

Click to download a copy of the publication


Relevant external resources

Despite 20 years of efforts, the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT) has expanded across the globe and out-paced every attempt to respond at the international and national level. The results of the first comprehensive global study on SECTT confirm that no region is untouched by this crime and no country is ‘immune’. In an increasingly interconnected world, more people are on the move and even the most remote parts of the planet are now within reach, thanks to cheaper travel and the spread of the Internet. As a result, the risks of child sexual exploitation are increasing.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai, is part of the High Level Global Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism that guided the work of this Global Study. The publication also includes a written contribution by the UNWTO Secretariat.


At ECPAT International’s initiative, an Interagency Working Group was established for the drafting of a set of Terminology Guidelines for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The purpose of this document is to provide all individuals and agencies working for the prevention and elimination of all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children with guidance for the understanding and use of the different terms and concepts they may encounter in their work.


The ‘Combat Human Trafficking’ Toolkit is part of a project to develop combat measures against human trafficking in the tourist industry. It is designed to assist hotels in proactively fighting human trafficking by helping them to identify potential signals of trafficking throughout the ‘victim’s journey’ and erect barriers to combat trafficking. The toolkit comprises three reference guides for corporate, managerial and operational level staff which provide practical advice on the development of policies and procedures to counteract and disrupt trafficking and support trafficking victims.

The project has been funded with support from the European Commission and undertaken by a consortium of researchers from Oxford Brookes University, the University of West London, the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the Ratiu Foundation for Democracy. For further details about the project please click here

Protect Children Awareness Campaign

UNWTO launched its latest international child protection campaign Don't let Child Abuse Travel in 2008, in collaboration with ILO, UNICEF and a series of tourism stakeholders from different sectors.

The campaign video spot and other materials have been disseminated among tourism stakeholders, providing them with specific recommendations for the protection of children and adolescents in the sector. 

UNWTO's commitment to protect children from sexual exploitation in tourism complements the activities of other international organizations, including UNICEF, ICPO-Interpol, UNESCO, UNAIDS, WHO and other organs of the United Nations.

Child Protection Projects

Between 2000 and 2004, UNWTO joined forces with the European Commission to fund interactive initiatives to combat “child sex tourism”. Jointly implemented by UNWTO and its NGO partners, its target groups included governments, international organizations, the tourism industry (travel agents, tour operators, hotels, airlines, and associations), academic institutions, young people, the media and tourists themselves.

The project yielded a set of Guidelines for National Tourism Administration (NTA) Focal Points (available to download), to assist NTA officials in actively engaging in the protection of children.

A part of this project was the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, originally formulated by ECPAT. Throughout the last decade, the Code has developed into one of the most recommended practices for the implementation of CSR related to child protection in the tourism industry. 

ChildSafe 7 Tips for Travelers


ChildSafe 7 Tips for Travelers have been promoted by the non-governmental organization Friends-International as part of the ChildSafe Movement, a global initiative aimed at protecting marginalized children and youth around the world. UNWTO encourages the promotion of the Tips as a good practice in fighting against children exploitation in tourism.

For more information, please visit the Website of Friends-International



External partners' projects and initiatives

"Don't look away!" campaign: enables individuals to report suspected cases of child sexual exploitation through the web site

The campaign is coordinated by ECPAT Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, Luxembourg and Poland.

See also:

For more information on UNWTO's activities related to the protection of children please contact