World Tourism Network on Child Protection

The World Tourism Network on Child Protection (formerly the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism) is an open-ended network featuring the multi-stakeholder participation of a range of tourism stakeholders, from governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to tourism industry groups and media associations. Originally formed in 1997, since 2007 its mandate has been to prevent all forms of youth exploitation in the tourism sector (i.e. sexual exploitation, child labour and child trafficking). The official name of the body was changed on the occasion of its 26th meeting in 2011.

The Network's meetings, held annually at the worlds’ foremost Travel and Tourism Fairs, serve as a platform for key actors to exchange experiences and best practices, present awareness-raising materials and capacity building tools, and promote the adoption of professional codes of conduct or other responsible practices in line with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

The activities of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection are co-ordinated by the UNWTO Secretariat and monitored by an Executive Committee established in November 2000.

The World Tourism Network on Child Protection warmly welcomes any government, organization, institution, individual, or company wishing to join our campaign.


Mission Statement and Objectives

Under the guiding principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the mission of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection is to support efforts to protect children from all forms of exploitation in tourism. Although its main focus is the protection of minors against sexual exploitation, it encompasses the issues of child labour and the trafficking of minors. Its principle objectives are:

  • to raise awareness among the tourism sector, governments and tourists;
  • to encourage the tourism industry to engage in ethical practices, particularly by adopting professional codes of conduct and other self-regulatory measures;
  • to invite governments to take administrative and legal measures, such as the designation of focal points (contact persons) within their national tourism administrations, the establishment of emergency hotlines, the strengthening of national legislation and the improvement of law enforcement;
  • to encourage cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as between tourist generating and receiving countries; and
  • to monitor the fight against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism networks at both the national and international levels.

History of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection

The World Tourism Network on Child Protection  was established as a "Task Force" by the World Tourism Organization in March 1997 at the ITB Berlin Tourism Fair in Germany, as a follow-up to the Stockholm Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (1996). Two months later, the Task Force launched the international campaign “NO Child Sex Tourism” to combat the commercial sexual abuse of children in tourism by raising awareness of this unacceptable phenomenon. The logo for this campaign was provided by the Brazilian Tourist Board EMBRATUR. First presented to the media in Chantilly, France, during the “Salon mondial du tourisme” fair.

During its first phase (1997-2007), the focus of the body was the prevention of sexual exploitation of children in tourism. In March 2007, at the 20th Task Force meeting held in Berlin, Germany, its mandate was extended to cover all forms of exploitation of minors in tourism, including child labour and child trafficking. The name of the Task Force was changed to "World Tourism Network on Child Protection" in 2011.

  • October 1995 - Member States of the World Tourism Organization take a stand against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism by unanimously adopting the Statement on the Prevention of Organized Sex Tourism at the General Assembly in Cairo, Egypt.
  • August 1996 - The Stockholm Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children introduces its Agenda for Action, which urged all participants to:
    • mobilize the business sector, including the tourism industry, against the use of its networks and establishments for the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and
    • promote better co-operation and encourage the establishment of national and international coalition to this effect.
  • At the Congress, as many as 122 countries agreed to undertake measures to curb the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Several tourism industry associations (IATA; IFTO, IH&RA, UFTAA, etc.), also issued policy documents explicitly addressing this topic.

Relevant Tools

UNWTO provides an on-line database on focal points (contact persons) in National Tourism Administrations and related government bodies, on hotlines and emergency services at the national and local levels, as well as on national legislation applicable to combating cases of the sexual abuse of children in tourism.


See also:

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