Despite 20 years of efforts, the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT) has expanded across the globe and out-paced every attempt to respond at the international and national level. The results of the first comprehensive global study on SECTT confirm that no region is untouched by this crime and no country is ‘immune’. In an increasingly interconnected world, more
people are on the move and even the most remote parts of the planet are now within reach, thanks to cheaper travel and the spread of the Internet. As a result, the risks of child sexual exploitation are increasing.
The impact on each individual child cannot be over-stated. For survivors, the legacy can include severe and life-long physical, emotional and psychological damage. As well as consuming its child victims, SECTT also fractures families and local cultures, and undermines the future prospects of entire communities. On the one hand, inaction on this crime can have serious social and economic consequences. On the other hand, effective action must be informed by hard evidence.
SECTT is, by its very nature, secretive and hidden. Little is known about what is happening and where, about the victims and perpetrators, and, very importantly, about what actually works to stop the abuse. To date, the lack of solid information about this crime, coupled with silence or even tolerance, has kept SECTT far too low on the policy agenda.
The Global Study on SECTT aims to bring this gross violation of children’s right into the light, and marks the 20th anniversary of the 1st World Congress on the Sexual Exploitation of Children. Guided by a High-Level Taskforce and informed by detailed studies from every region and many countries, as well as contributions from experts and children, the Global Study is the first (and, to date, the only) research initiative on SECTT to explore emerging trends and possible solutions.
Read full report here.