High-Level event placing child protection at the core of sustainable travel and tourism

New York October 16th – “It is impossible to separate action to make travel and tourism sustainable from action to end violence against children”.

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children has co-hosted, alongside the World Childhood Foundation and the Permanent Missions of Sweden and of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations, the high-level event “Placing child protection at the core of sustainable travel and tourism”, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

With the participation of H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and UN Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina Mohammed, the event brought together experts from Member States, law enforcement agencies, the private sector and civil society organizations at international and national level in order to discuss the way forward for a sustainable travel and tourism sector which incorporates child protection as a core value and priority.

Collectively we need to do more. We need to agree on high standards and goals. And they need to be implemented to make real difference on the ground. Together, we need to make sure that what is discussed and agreed by the international community in rooms like this, at the United Nations and by powerful leaders, actually reach all the way to the individual child at risk. That is where it matters" said H.M. Queen Silvia as she opened the high-level event.
UN DSG Amina Mohammed reaffirmed during her remarks the deep connection between sustainability and child safety: “Our efforts to end violence against children must be an integral part of our efforts for making travel and tourism safe and sustainable”.

The discussion emphasized the importance of cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration to ensure not only prosecution but also prevention of the forms of violence that children are exposed to in the context of travel and tourism, such as child labor, child trafficking and child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The event also explored the impact of digital tools such as online platforms and cryptocurrency, as well as the new trends of decentralization and community travel which enhance the exposure of children to violence.  
As travel and tourism is being rethought while recovering from the pandemic, we need a renewed and relevant agenda for action that promotes sustainability in its broadest sense. Investing in sustainable travel and tourism with child protection at its core is needed more than ever,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid.

Advocacy brief “Rethinking travel and tourism”.
SRSG VAC report to the General Assembly 2023