Organisational structure

Want to know the details of how The Code is structured, managed and funded? Explore the hyperlinks below to jump to the section that interests you.

Multi-Stakeholder Organisation
Board of Directors
Annual General Meeting
Local Code Representatives
Annual Reports


The mission of The Code is to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children in contexts related to travel and tourism. This goal is pursued through cooperation with child- protection organisations, governmental institutions and other suitable international and local partners.


The Code has thrived under the leadership of professionals from the tourism industry in collaboration with key non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Our multi-stakeholder approach provides a platform for input from relevant sectors regarding the implementation of the six criteria of The Code. Not only does this multi-stakeholder format allow for the meaningful exchange of ideas, it also provides realistic feedback from tourism professionals, child rights or sustainable tourism NGOs and other related international organisations.


The Code is led by a 9-member Board of Directors composed of five representatives of the tourism, travel and transport industry and four non-industry members.

Responsibilities of the Board of Directors include leading the cultivation of organisational culture and values, overseeing the development and implementation of strategy, ensuring financial accountability, risk management, high-level decision making, and the supervision of and appropriate delegation to the General Manager.

The Code’s board is always structured according to the following requirements:

5 seats reserved for representatives of the tourism industry, including representatives of the following industry sectors:

  • Tour operator
  • Hotel chain
  • Travel agency /distribution
  • Airline/other
  • Open seat linked to the industry

4 non-industry seats, including:

  • ECPAT International (permanent seat representing their influence as the founding organisation of The Code and their expertise in protecting children from sexual exploitation)
  • Local/national NGO
  • Local/national NGO
  • Open seat for individuals or organizations committed to the cause

Board members are nominated and voted by the Annual General Meeting, and can serve 2 terms of 3 years. Meet our current Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors can choose to co-opt non-voting members to secure needed skills within the Board. No more than two non-voting members can be co-opted at the same time.

Representatives of UNICEF and the United Nations World Tourism Organization serve as advisory partners to the Board of Directors.


Each year before ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show, The Code holds its Annual General Meeting. Member companies, Local Code Representatives, funders, and other key stakeholders come together to share successes, discuss challenges, and vote on key decisions that will affect The Code’s strategy and operations.


The day-to-day activities of The Code are managed by a small team of dedicated staff at the secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand.  In addition to overseeing the global operation, the secretariat provides support to members and partners, creates tools and education materials, and actively promotes The Code’s essential work on a global and national basis.

The Code’s secretariat is based at:

328/1 Phaya Thai Road, Ratchathewi, 10400, Thailand


In many countries The Code is delivered in partnership with inspiring non-governmental organisations that serve as Local Code Representatives. These organisations raise awareness of the crime of child sex tourism, promote The Code, recruit new members, train tourism industry staff, support companies to take action for children, and monitor member progress. Membership fees are split between secretariat and LCRs. Meet our Local Code Representatives from around the world.


The Code exists today because of the generous support of some key governments, foundations, and organisations. The following entities have provided financial or in-kind support to contribute to The Code’s mission to protect children from sexual exploitation:

  • ECPAT Network: Responsible for creating The Code in 1996 (ECPAT Sweden) and subsequently spreading it worldwide through its network of child protection organisations
  • EU Commission: Provided seed funds in 1999 to launch The Code as a global initiative
  • United Nations World Tourism Organization: Hosted The Code in Madrid, Spain from 2001 to 2004
  • UNICEF/Japan Committee for UNICEF: Provided operational funding from 2004 to 2011
  • UNICEF Thailand: Supported The Code in its Thailand activities from 2016 to 2017
  • ECPAT-USA: Hosted The Code in New York, USA from 2004 to 2011
  • Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO): Provided operational funding from 2012 to 2016 and project funding to launch The Code in Myanmar in 2014
  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ): Provided funding for project to expand The Code’s impact in Thailand from 2013 to 2015, delivered in partnership with Kuoni, Accor, TUI, and ITB
  • Kuoni Travel Holdings: Contributed to a development partnership with BMZ/GIZ to expand The Code in Thailand from 2013 to 2015
  • Accor Hotels: Contributed to a development partnership with BMZ/GIZ to expand The Code in Thailand from 2013 to 2015
  • TUI Travel: Contributed to a development partnership with BMZ/GIZ to expand The Code in Thailand from 2013 to 2015
  • ITB Messe: Contributed to a development partnership with BMZ/GIZ to expand The Code in Thailand from 2013 to 2015
  • Google: Provided a grant for online advertising in 2013


The Code’s goal is to be financially self-sustaining (through membership fees) by the end of 2019. To the end we have set ambitious growth targets for the coming years. A strong and effective Code organisation will help protect children from sexual exploitation and facilitate the development of a sustainable and thriving tourism industry, especially in developing markets.

In addition to creating a successful organisation with high impact on the core issue of child sex tourism, membership growth will also deliver an essential stream of annual revenue to The Code through the payment of membership fees. The long-term goal of The Code organisation is to ensure core operations are self-funding through membership income, relying on donor funds only for special projects.



Want to know more? Read The Code’s full statutes here.