The Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism was released today by the ECPAT International1, marking the 20th Anniversary of the First World Congress against commercial sexual exploitation of children. The report, the first of its kind, aims to raise awareness and to spur action from governments, the tourism industry and civil society organisations to end the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT). This study, funded by the Dutch Government and overseen by the members of the ECPAT High-Level Global Taskforce , contains contributions from the global ECPAT Network, partners and experts, including Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, as well as other law enforcement agencies, governments and universities.
The Global Study has collected and analysed qualitative and quantitative information on the SECTT in all regions of the world, including case studies and good practices. The findings from 9 regional reports (East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, North America, The Pacific, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa) reveal similarities, such as an increased diversification of travel and tourism infrastructure and the increased use by offenders of mobile technologies, while also highlighting challenges that are specific to each region. Some of the key findings of the study include the need for a broader view on SECTT given its spread and the need for a clear global definition of SECTT that would be mirrored within national legislations.
The report emphasises the need for cross-sectoral partnerships and aligned approaches in SECTT prevention and interventions, recommending that partners across sectors around the world should come together to push for effective laws, strong enforcement, the end of impunity for offenders, and most importantly better protection of children.
EC3’s Head of Business, Steven Wilson, said: “Understanding and combating the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism can only be done at a global level. I welcome this report as it provides a global perspective and sets the foundations upon which global leaders from private industry, law enforcement and governments can build a roadmap to protect children everywhere.”
The executive summary of the Global Study will also be available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin and Russian, in order to allow for wide dissemination of the key findings and main recommendations.
 ECPAT International – ECPAT is a global network of 80 organisations working together in 74 countries for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. ECPAT seeks to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation. ECPAT International has been leading the global discussion on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and is recognised as a strong and cohesive child rights advocacy network speaking on behalf of vulnerable children and child victims of sexual exploitation for nearly 25 years. For more information, please visit www.ecpat.net.