Around the UN General Assembly in New York (UNGA 78) which theme is: “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and the sustainability for all.”, two UN reports will be presented to the States on the topic of the need to regulate child protection in travel and tourism, including the phenomena of voluntourism.  

Register now for in-person or online attendance for these pivotal events to unpack two UN reports and be part of the change. The events are organised on the 10th and 12th of October 2023, in New York, and in hybrid modality:

Ecpat Child Protection in Travel and Tourism

  • 10 October: A closer look at the phenomena of voluntourism: Attend a pivotal panel discussion building on the findings and recommendations from the UN Special Rapporteur’s report – A study on the exploitation and sexual abuse of children in the context of travel and tourism; a closer look at the phenomena of voluntourism. Together with Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, and esteemed leaders from governments, private sector, and civil society organisations, we will dive into the report’s findings and recommendations.

Ecpat Child Protection in Travel and Tourism

  • 12 October: Protecting children in travel and tourism: Join a series of in-depth panel discussions on child protection in travel and tourism to unpack the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children SRSG VAC’s report on child protection in travel and tourism. This roundtable, convened by ECPAT International, PACT, and the SRSG VAC’s Office, will offer three thematic panels discussing:
    • Children’s perspectives on how tourism delivers its promises of sustainable development
    • The role of travel and transportation industry in preventing child exploitation
    • The financial sector’s role in addressing child sexual exploitation

The aim of these two global events in New York, is to drive holistic sustainability in travel and tourism that prioritizes children’s right to live free from sexual exploitation and all forms of violence. The events are organized in person and online (hybrid mode) and are open for the participation of travel and tourism and sustainability leaders to collaborate, and create solutions for child protection in travel, tourism, online and finance contexts. 

In 2019, at ITB travel trade show in Berlin, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with The Code and ECPAT International to join forces to expand standards for the protection of children and to take other measures to end the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. Both GSTC Industry Criteria and GSTC Destination Criteria v2.0 include child protection performance indicator that calls upon destinations and the tourism industry to have laws, practices and established codes of conduct to prevent and report on human trafficking and sexual exploitation. 

“The efforts undertaken through our partnership over the last years reflect GSTC’s commitment to child protection in travel and tourism,” says Gabriela Kühn, ECPAT International, Head of Programme, Child Protection in Travel and Tourism.

“Child protection criterion and indicators will be incorporated into upcoming GSTC Criteria such as MICE Criteria and Attraction Criteria to ensure that all tourism stakeholders take necessary measures to protect children from negative engagement. Collaborating with ECPAT is crucial in supporting the GSTC’s engagement with the tourism industry and destinations,” says Dr. Mihee Kang, GSTC Global Assurance Director.

More information and registration here: The page also contains resources that are of guidance and support to the travel and tourism industry.