The Code

The Code is an industry-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to protect children against sex tourism.

The Code employs the following six criteria (Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism), which members of the tourism industry must adhere to once they join The Code:

  • To establish a policy against sexual exploitation of children.
  • To train employees in children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases.
  • To include a clause in contracts throughout the value chain stating a zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
  • To provide information to travellers on children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and how to report suspected cases.
  • To support, collaborate and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children .
  • To report annually on their implementation of Code related activities.

The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism was developed by ECPAT Sweden in 1996. Since 2004, The Code has operated as an independent non-profit organization. Now, the Code of Conduct has been signed and implemented by more than 240 tour operators, hotels, travel agencies and tourism workers unions in 21 countries of Europe, Asia, North America, Central and South America. It is estimated that it reaches more than 30 million travelers around the world each year.

The Code is recognized by UNICEF and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the international reference tool for the prevention and the fight against child sex tourism by tourism companies.

For more information, thecode.org 

United Nations Global Compact

The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour,environment and anti-corruption.

Protection of children against commercial sexual exploitation is included in these principles, especially under Principle 5 "The effective abolition of child labor".

Children's rights and business principles

UNICEF in collaboration with the UN Global Compact and Save the Children have also developed a list of ten principles which set out concrete actions for business to respect and support children’s rights.

Business & Human rights resources center

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is a non-profit organization drawing attention to the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of over 5100 companies, operating in over 180 countries. The objective of the Centre's website is to promote greater awareness and initiate a discussion on the important issues related to business and human rights.

Since 2012, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre published a "Quarterly Bulletin on Business and Children". To read the latest bulletin released in September 2013, click here.