Question & Answer

Until what age can you speak of sexual exploitation of children?

Every child under 18 years has the right to be protected against sexual exploitation. This is stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

What situations might indicate child abuse/exploitation?

  • Someone isolates himself/herself with a local child, e.g. in a hotel room or a (private) apartment
  • A tourist is being intimate with a local child at swimming pool or beach.
  • 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

Where else can you report (suspected) child abuse while travelling abroad?

In the Netherlands:

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


  •  Local authorities
  •  Local Hotline. For European Hotlines, see
  •  Local NGO (e.g. ECPAT) or with ECPAT International:
  •  Embassy of the country of the perpetrator

What does the travel industry do to protect children against sexual exploitation?

The travel and tourism organisations have a code of conduct: the  Tourism Child Protection Code (The Code). The Code is an 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.

What can you do against sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism?

  • Be alert
  • Report suspicions of sexual exploitation of children
  • Support local organisations combating the sexual exploitation of children
  • Read our tips at Travel tips

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 people can travel the world are major causes for sexual exploitation of children in travel and 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 you report if you see a suspicious situation?

Try to complete the following information in the report form:

  • The name and/or description of the suspect and the victim
  • A description of what you have seen or heard
  • Indicate where and when it happened
  • The travel details of the suspect (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!