What is The Code?
The Code (short for The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the travel and tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
The Code is a voluntary set of criteria that members commit to, to keep children safe.
Local Code Representatives
The Code is represented around the globe by local organisations who provide support to the travel and tourism industry on the ground to implement the six criteria of The Code.
The Six Criteria of The Code
There are six simple steps to becoming a member of The Code. The first step is to submit an application form. You can find out more about how to join The Code here.
You can contact us by filling out the contact form here. We will get back to you as quickly as we can.
No matter where we are in the world, we all have a responsibility to protect children. If you suspect child sexual abuse you should report it.
You can find out more about how to report in different countries here.
We are always on the look out for new organisations to join us.
To become a Local Code Representative please contact us here.
After the first World Congress Against Sexual Exploitation of Children in 1996, ECPAT Sweden developed The Code in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and several Swedish tour operators.
The Code was then spread worldwide through partnerships with the ECPAT network, UNWTO, and UNICEF. -profit organisation.
1996 – The Code is created by ECPAT Sweden, the UNWTO, and Swedish tour operators
1999 – Growth of The Code funded by the generous support of the EU Commission
2001 to 2004 – UNWTO hosts The Code’s secretariat in Madrid, Spain
2003 – Awarded the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award
2004 to 2011 – ECPAT-USA hosts The Code’s secretariat in New York, USA with operations funded by generous support from UNICEF and Japan Committee for UNICEF
2008 – Receives Ashoka Changemakers’ Ending Global Slavery Award
2010 – Honoured with a number of awards: WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award, The Ethical Corporation Award, the BIRD Express Travel Award, PATA Gold Award, and Travel and Leisure Magazine’s Human Rights Leadership Award
2011 – Membership fee introduced
2011 to 2013 – ECPAT International hosts The Code’s secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand
2012 to 2016 – Operations funded by the generous support of Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
2013 to 2015 – Special project to expand The Code in Thailand, funded by BMZ/GIZ in partnership with Kuoni Group, TUI Travel, Accor Hotels, and ITB Messe
2013 – Awarded the SKAL Sustainable Development in Tourism Award
2014 – 2016 – Special project to expand The Code in Myanmar, funded by SECO
2017 – current – The Code continues to work with the tourism industry and partnerships with LCRs
The Code was created as an initiative between tourism companies and ECPAT members in 1996. Since 2011 it has been hosted and supported by ECPAT International in Bangkok, with engagement around the world through Local Code Representatives, most of which are members of the ECPAT network.
In 2019, The Code’s AGM endorsed a proposal that would see The Code more formally incorporated as a program of ECPAT International, while still maintaining close working relationships with member companies and Local Code Representatives. A working group has been formed to provide strategic advice to The Code’s Secretariat – this group is made up of representatives from members of The Code, ECPAT International and country offices, and other individual travel industry representatives.