ECPAT and the Down to Zero Alliance call upon governments and businesses to prioritize child protection when developing a sustainable future for the sector

25 September 2020 – The Down to Zero Alliance comprising Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Defence for Children-ECPAT, ECPAT International, Free a Girl, ICCO and Plan International Netherlands calls upon the intergovernmental bodies, governments and the private sector to consider child protection as a key element for sustainable and responsible development now, and as the Travel & Tourism industry recovers. This call is based on insights from a series of webinars organized as part of the efforts to end the sexual exploitation of children. This Call for restarting Travel & Tourism with Child Protection in focus was motivated by the COVID-19 crisis and is based on the contributions from the panelists and the participants that represented the intergovernmental bodies, governments, the private sector, CSOs and academia during these events.

Recommendations for the Private Sector for Restarting Travel & Tourism with Child Protection in Focus

Encourage the use of a holistic approach to sustainability by incorporating child protection as a component of business models and broader certification processes.

This includes: leveraging solutions that address the root causes of socio-economic vulnerabilities of children and families; conducting risks and impact analysis regarding children’s rights – also when developing new products related to digital transformation and seamless travel solutions; following sustainable practices throughout supply chains; creating awareness among customers and local communities; providing regular trainings on child protection to all the staff and establishing codes of conduct, including through the adoption of the GSTC Criteria and the six criteria of The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

For more details:

World Tourism Day 2020: Child protection is key to sustainable tourism

A Call for Restarting Travel & Tourism with Child Protection in Focus

GSTC Criteria and Prevention of Exploitation

In GSTC Industry Criteria, used mainly by hotels and tour operators, criterion B5 refers to Exploitation and harassment; In the GSTC Destination Criteria, used mainly by destination managers and government organizations, criterion B5 (which correlated with SDG 10 and 16) is about Preventing exploitation and discrimination.

More on the GSTC and The Code.