Question & Answer

Until what age can you speak of child sex tourism?

It is a case of child sex tourism if the victim is under the age of 18. In some countries, a different age limit applies. But be aware: the Dutch limit of 18 years applies to all Dutch citizens, even if the abuse is not a crime in the country where it takes place.

Where else can I report (suspected) child sex tourism?

In the Netherlands:

  •  Meld Misdaad Anoniem (Report Crime Anonymously) (0800-7000)
  •  Police
  •  Travel organisation (hotel, tour operator, travel agent)

Abroad:

What does the travel industry do to fight child sex tourism?

The travel and tourism organisations have a code of conduct: the  Tourism Child Protection Code (The Code). More than 1,200 organisations in 52 countries have signed the Code, from tour operators (Kuoni) and hotels (Accor) to airlines (Air France), restaurants and nightclubs. The Code was developed by ECPAT International, together with the travel industry and the UN World Tourism Organisation and is supported by UNICEF. TheCode.org is an independent, autonomous organisation. Here you will find a list with all Dutch companies that have signed The Code.

Child sex tourism takes place in the country that I’m going to visit. What can I do?

  • Report suspected child sex tourism
  • Support local organisations combating the sexual exploitation of children.
  • Read our tips at Responsible Tourism

What does the Dutch government do to fight child sex tourism?

Since October 2012, the fight against child sex tourism has been explicitly added to the duties of the Dutch National Police. The team that works on combating child pornography and child sex tourism was greatly expanded. Meanwhile, the police have also created a phenomenon description and, on 11 October 2013, Minister Opstelten (Security and Justice) presented the first Action Plan against Child Sex Tourism. This plan includes three lines of action: prevention, criminal prosecution and collaboration with NGOs and other countries. Extra liaison officers have also been deployed in Southeast Asia and South America. The liaison officer coordinates collaboration with the police abroad and supports the police abroad if a Dutch suspect is involved in a case. The National Police investigate all reports received. At Schiphol, the Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Military Constabulary) proactively monitor people who travel to child sex tourism areas. They also regularly carry out targeted checks for child pornography in luggage. In collaboration with the police and NGOs, the Ministry has launched the campaign Don’t Look Away, which aims to make travellers aware of child sex tourism.

What are the causes of sexual exploitation of children?

There is not a single specific cause. Poverty, the demand for sex with children and young people and the ease with which child sex tourists travel the world are major causes of child sex tourism. There is often a lack of education in poor countries, unemployment is high and people suffer from a lack of law enforcement. If the tourism sector grows unregulated, children are at risk of being exploited by tourists.

What information should I report if I see a suspicious situation?

Try to complete the following information in the report form:

  • The name and/or description of the perpetrator and the victim.
  • A description of what you have seen or heard.
  • Indicate where and when it happened.
  • The travel details of the perpetrator (date and time of flight or the name of the airline).
  • Any other relevant or noteworthy details.

Caution: Never try to conduct an investigation yourself.

 

What situations might indicate child sex tourism?

The following situations may indicate child sex tourism:

  • Someone isolates himself/herself with a local child, e.g. in a hotel room or a (private) apartment.
  • Someone offers a child or young person for sex.
  • Someone is looking for sexual services of children or young people.
  • A hotel or organisation allows child abuse on its premises or via the company.
  • Someone abuses a child through a foundation or organisation, e.g. an orphanage or school.
  • Someone talks about his or her sexual experience with a child abroad.

Who are the perpetrators?

There is not a single specific definition of a child sex tourist. Child sex tourists can be of any age, nationality, religion or social class. Rich or poor, heterosexual or homosexual, married or single. Although the majority are men, there are also female child sex tourists. Contrary to what the term child sex tourist suggests, it’s not just tourists. Emigrants, expats, business travellers, aid workers, volunteers, soldiers, diplomats, truck drivers and people who work abroad temporarily can also be child sex tourists.

Are countries where child sex tourism occurs working with the Dutch government?

Yes, if possible. This is partly dependent on the existence of a mutual legal assistance treaty between the Netherlands and the country concerned. If collaboration is possible, e.g. it concerns a ‘caught in the act’ situation, this is done through the intervention of the Dutch liaison officer.