Child in airport

The Code (short for “The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism”) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

We all dream of a world where children are safe and free. Sadly, today many children are exposed to sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

The commercial sexual exploitation of children involves the buying and selling of children under 18 years of age for sexual purposes. Sexual exploitation of children in tourism, child sex trafficking, the prostitution of children, and child pornography are all forms of this crime.

The sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism often takes place in hotels and uses other travel infrastructure. That’s why we believe that working with responsible tourism companies is a powerful way to keep children safe and prevent these crimes.

Learn more about how the tourism industry can make a big difference and join us to protect children today.


6 Steps to protecting children

When a tourism company joins The Code they commit to taking six essential steps to help protect children, which we call the six criteria of The Code. These are to:

The six criteria of The Code

Helping tourism companies protection children

The Code’s team and local partner network provides support, guidance, best practice examples, and online tools to make these actions as easy and effective as possible. Learn more about member tools and support.


How does The Code keep children safe?

The Code aims to address the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism by creating a highly aware and well-trained tourism industry that can recognise and prevent potential abuse and also by building zero tolerance environments where travellers understand that these crimes are unacceptable and offenders will be prosecuted. Learn more about how The Code works to protect children from sexual exploitation.


Who do companies join The Code?

Tourism companies join The Code for many reasons. The number one reason cited in our 2013 member survey was because it was the right thing to do. We believe companies join because helping children makes human sense. And also because joining The Code makes business sense. Members of The Code access a range of benefits while simultaneously making their communities safer for children. Find out more about the benefits to your business and join The Code today.


Best Practice Examples of Corporate Social Responsibility

The Code has been acknowledged by various United Nations organisations as a good practice example of tourism private sector and non-governmental organisations collaboration to combat exploitation of children. A number of governments and organisations have incorporated The Code into overarching policy. Membership of The Code is a requirement of achieving fair trade tourism status in South Africa and acquiring TourCert certification in Europe. The government of Costa Rica has integrated The Code into the Costa Rican Tourism Institute’s Certification in Sustainable Tourism program. Several national tourism ministries are also active in promoting The Code as a responsible tourism initiative in their countries. Learn more about the History of The Code.


Want more information?

After you’ve explored our website, why not download one of our brochures to share with your colleagues or companies in your community, raise awareness of the crime of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, and invite new companies to join.

The Code Brochure is available in: