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A global call to advance child protection in travel and tourism

Posted on Nov 20, 2023

17 November 2023

New York, USA – ECPAT International, alongside the office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (OSRSG VAC), PACT, and global partners, successfully convened a series of panels to address the pressing issue of child protection in travel and tourism. This crucial event, held on the 12th of October, aligned with the launch of the UN report by SRSG VAC at the UN General Assembly 2023, engaged experts and leaders in a collaborative effort to place child protection at the core of sustainable development.

The event focused on three thematic areas, bringing together a diverse group of experts, business leaders, government representatives, and child advocates. They shared evidence-based practices and discussed actionable strategies in three critical panels:

  1. Children’s perspectives on sustainable development in tourism

  2. Travel & Transportation Industry’s Role in preventing child exploitation

  3. Engagement of the Financial Sector in child and gender-sensitive protection mechanisms

Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, the UN Special Representative, presented a pivotal report on child protection in travel and tourism, marking the beginning and end of the event with a global call for action.

Statements from Key Organisers:

Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid highlighted the need for developing sustainable tourism with child protection at its core. Guillaume Landry of ECPAT International emphasised the necessity of direct engagement with children and a multisectoral approach for real progress. Lori Cohen of PACT and Oscar Valverde of Fundación Paniamor echoed the importance of elevating youth voices and ensuring children’s safety in tourism development. Speakers also called to step up action and the role of the transportation industry and for more assertive action by the financial sector to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

This landmark event marks a significant step towards implementing international standards and policies, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The event’s recording and the UN report, which provide detailed insights and recommendations, are now accessible below:

About the Organisers:

  • ECPAT International: A movement of 126 organisations across over 100 countries committed to ending child sexual exploitation. Learn more

  • PACT: A leading U.S. anti-child trafficking organisation and member of ECPAT International. Learn more

  • OSRSG VAC: The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, a global advocate against child violence. Learn more

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