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"Code of Conduct" on Sex Tourism

May 30, 2004 · 


May 24 – 30, 2004

Striking a blow against the sex tourism industry that entraps tens of thousands of children, UNICEF on May 12, 2004 joined the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the international advocacy group ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) in launching a new “Code of Conduct” for the North American travel industry.  The code is designed to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation. 

According to a recent ECPAT report, an estimated 25 per cent of sex tourists outside the United States are American.  In 1995, Business Week Magazine reported that the United States was host to at least 25 sex tour companies.

“The travel industry is critical in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation,” said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.  “We can no longer look the other way while members of our own communities are abusing children in the most unthinkable ways.  These are perpetrators of the worst kind.  They not only display a callous disregard for human dignity, they do so with total impunity.”

“An effective response to the sexual exploitation of children requires coordinated and consistent efforts at every level,” WTO Deputy Secretary-General David de Villiers stressed.  He recalled that this Code of conduct is closely related with the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and newly established World Committee on Ethics for Tourism, key activities of the WTO.

Worldwide, a steadily increasing number of children have become victims of commercial sexual exploitation.  An estimated two million children – mainly girls but a significant number of boys, are believed to be part of the multi billion-dollar commercial sex trade.


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