Sun, sand, sea. Holidays can be so nice. However, for more than 2 million children tourism has a major drawback. They are forced into the sex industry as child sex tourism is a lucrative criminal business.
Various surveys show that Swiss tourists do not tolerate child sex tourism and want to act on it.With your help, the Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children does not want to shy away and take immediate action since children everywhere deserve our protection and support.
The campaign «Don’t look away - www.stopchildsextourism.ch»
In November 2010, the Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children has launched the campaign «Don’t look away -www.stopchildsextourism.ch». Together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Office of Police (fedpol) and various important players of the tourism industry such as Kuoni, Hotelplan, Accor, Globetrotter, TUI and the Swiss Federation of Travel Agencies the aim of the campaign is to enhance the protection of children in holiday destinations. Similar campaigns have also been launched in Germany and Austria.
The online reporting form www.stopchildsextourism.ch allows you to report suspected cases of child sex tourism and is a central element of the campaign.
Your help is needed!
If we want to protect minors effectively from child sex tourism, we need policy makers, the tourist industry, prosecution authorities, child protection organizations and especially you, the travellers and tourists, to strengthen the ties of the network for the protection of children and young people.
We are well aware that it is not easy to demonstrate civil courage if one cannot be sure that the suspicion is reasonable. The Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children therefore answers five questions which should make it easier for you to take action:
What are we talking about?
Having sex with children has become a lucrative business from which criminal networks earn billions of dollars each year. The offenders take advantage of the anonymity of the holiday resort to seize opportunities to act in an unlawful and inappropriate way towards children. However, all over the world sexual exploitation of minors represents a criminal offence and turns children into victims for life.
At www.stopchildsextourism.ch you will find an online reporting form that has been developed by the Swiss Federal Office of police and the Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children in order to report suspected cases of child sex tourism from all over the world.
How does the reporting form work?
The reporting form is an official document approved and hosted by the authorities. First, you will be asked to enter your personal details. This is to avoid that people make false indications anonymously. Then six questions follow regarding your observations. You only need to fill in the details you are able to answer. The other fields may remain empty.
Already a small hint may contribute considerably to the protection of children.
What happens with my information?
All reported information is subject to a first careful examination by the experts of the Federal Office of Police (fedpol). Information considered as pertinent will then be transmitted to the respective cantonal police services or to Interpol and Europol in case of international relevant issues. These authorities will then take the appropriate next steps.
It is possible that the judicial authority may contact you if further clarification is needed.
Is my data secure?
Certainly, your personal data will be treated strictly confidential.
What if the person accused is innocent?
The experts of the prosecution authorities are well-trained in classifying suspected cases. They only take action if the information reported is considered substantiated and pertinent from a legal point of view.
Do not turn away if something appears strange to you or causes feelings of discomfort.
Show civil courage and use the multilingual online reporting form www.stopchildsextourism.ch
Three steps for protecting children
- Do not ignore your observations or a feeling of discomfort
- Use the reporting form www.stopchildsextourism.ch and enter all the information possible
- Send the form
Experts will take care of the rest.
Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children
The Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children works against all forms of violence against children. With its specialized department ECPAT Switzerland it fights for the elimination of child sex tourism, child pornography and trafficking of children in Switzerland and abroad. Since 2003, the Foundation has been ensuring that Swiss travel companies apply the internationally recognized Code of Conduct for the Protection of children from sexual exploitation in tourism. This «Tourism Child-Protection Code» has been signed by more than 970 companies in over 40 countries. The campaign «Don’t look away -www.stopchildsextourism.ch» is part of a set of activities carried out within the framework of the «Tourism Child-Protection Code».
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs
The SECO is the Confederation’s competence centre for all core issues relating to economic policy. The SECO is also committed to sustainable tourism and thus supports the implementation of the „Tourism Child-Protection Code“ as well as the trilateral campaign to protect children and youth against sexual exploitation in tourism.
Federal Office of Police (fedpol)
The Federal Office of Police (fedpol) is responsible for all police tasks under federal jurisdiction. In 2008, the section «Paedophilia and Pornography» together with the Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children jointly developed a multilingual reporting form for suspected cases of child sex tourism. This online form has been internationally recognized as best-practice example.
Travel companies that support this campaign are signatories to the «Tourism Child-Protection Code». By adhering to this code of conduct, they commit themselves to take specific measures to protect children from child sex tourism. Such measures include trainings for employees in Switzerland and abroad, informing clients about their commitment, as well as including appropriate clauses in partner contracts. Furthermore, these companies have to report annually to the Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children.
Copyright Stiftung Kinderschutz Schweiz (2011)