The United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27 since 1980. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
While tourism is often positive, both to the individual traveller and the host community, there are some who travel in order to sexually exploit children. These tourists seek out destinations where the prostitution of children is common. Other tourists, known as situational offenders, engage in sexual acts with children out of experimentation fuelled by opportunity or a feeling of anonymity as a result of being away from their home. Child sex tourism is a crime, punishable in the country of offence, and in an offenders home country.
ECPAT began as a campaign against child sex tourism in Asia in the 1990s and continues today to raise awareness of these vile crimes against children, working with governments, law enforcement and the travel and tourism industry to put an end once and for all to child sex tourism. You can play your part in ending child sex tourism by booking your next vacation or business trip with a hotel or tour company who have signed the Code of Conduct for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. Whether you’re travelling overseas or in your home country if you see something suspicious, or suspect that a child is a victim of commercial sexual exploitation please report it! Details of national reporting hotlines can be found here.