The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children has published their thematic report on Ending Violence Against Children by 2030.
The report stresses that the 2030 Agenda treats violence against children as a cross-cutting concern and includes a distinct Sustainable Development Goal target 16.2, which calls for the elimination of abuse, exploitation, trafficking, all forms of violence against and torture of children. It is a historic breakthrough that provides unique momentum for an unstoppable movement to bring violence against children to an end.
The report brings attention to evolving threats to children, including the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.
It recognizes that the Global Study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism (SECTT) has galvanized action, including the process of transforming the UNWTO voluntary code on this issue into an international convention. The Study brought SECTT into the light, set out clear recommendations for concerted action from international and regional intergovernmental bodies, national governments, NGOs and the private sector; the travel, tourism and transportation sector, the ICT industry and companies whose staff members travel for business.
The report recalled that the first International Summit on the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism took place in Bogotá, Colombia, in June 2018, as a follow-up to the Global Study. The resulting Call for Action laid the groundwork for committed partnerships and a comprehensive, child rights-centred, collaborative approach to end impunity for traveling child sex offenders. See the Call for Action here.
The report referenced the High Level Task Force on Child Protection in Travel and Tourism, currently acting as an Independent Experts Group on Child Protection in Travel and Tourism that is working to promote the implementation of its recommendations. See more here.
It stressed the potential of the private sector to contribute to the SDGs, notably through the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism which helps to mobilize the tourism industry to recognize, prevent and respond to such exploitation. It referenced ‘Top Members’ – companies that have excelled in their implementation of the six steps of The Code – including Accor Hotels, Carlson, Hilton Worldwide, the Tui Group and the Mexican airline Volaris. As of March 2019, the Code had 325 member companies across 150 countries, and around 960,000 staff have been trained. For the list of the Code member companies see here.
The report crucially called upon governments to establish safe, well-publicized, confidential and accessible mechanisms for children, their representatives and others to report violence against children and for widening partnerships and building the global movement to end all forms of violence against children.
Read the full report here.