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.
The sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism encompasses a broad spectrum of exploitation of children; including in prostitution and pornography; for the production of online child abuse material; and in the sale and trafficking of children in all its forms. Voluntourism, orphanage tourism and mega sporting events are all examples where offenders can easily access and exploit children.
Many offenders take advantage of hotel facilities to commit their crimes. That’s why we believe that working with the travel and tourism industry is essential to keeping children safe and ending the impunity of offenders.
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:
Helping tourism companies protection children
The Code’s team and Local Code Representatives provides support, guidance, best practice examples, and online tools to make these actions as easy and effective as possible.
How does The Code keep children safe?
The Code works to end the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism by creating a knowledgeable 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.
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.
Want more information?
The Code Brochure is available in: