Stronger together: Tourism training partnerships help prevent child exploitation

Tourism prevent child exploitation

The sexual exploitation of children by those who use the services of the travel & tourism industry is a difficult subject to acknowledge let alone discuss. This is why ECPAT International, The Code, and ASSET H&C have partnered to give trainers and educators useful tools to help prepare students to look out for and report signs of the crime.

Bronwen Maher, Sophie Hartman, Nguyễn Thị Thu Thảo, and Võ Thị Quế Chi combine to write this “Good Tourism” Insight.

[You too can write a “GT” Insight.]

The sexual exploitation of children in travel & tourism (SECTT) is an ever-evolving crime that responds to changes in our society and in the industry itself.

Offenders adapt their modus operandi to misuse information and communications technology (ICT) and travel & tourism industry infrastructure to exploit children in online and offline environments.

COVID-19’s disruption to global travel has erected temporary barriers to the movement of child sex offenders. However many have moved online to commit crimes there, while looking for opportunities to travel again once restrictions are eased.

At the same time, COVID-19 has adversely affected the finances of many local communities that rely on income from travel & tourism. This increases the risk of child sexual exploitation in places where families struggle to survive.

Nonetheless, a conscious and responsible workforce can play a key role in preventing and reporting these crimes and helping to keep children safe.

Well-trained staff help tackle a moving problem
Travelling child sex offenders take advantage of travel & tourism services and infrastructure to facilitate their crimes.

Therefore, the travel & tourism industry can play an important role in keeping children safe, alongside law enforcement, other travellers, and the not-for-profit sector.

Frontline workers in the travel & tourism industry are the eyes and ears on the ground and have a direct role to play in preventing child sexual exploitation.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by the Good Tourism Blog.

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