Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct to Protect Children and Adolescents from Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism in Costa Rica

Commitment from the Costa Rican Tourism Industry to discourage and sanction commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, as an axis for responsible and sustainable tourism.

By December 2014 = 450 tourism companies.

Lodging - Tour Operators - Vehicle Rentals - Organizations in the Sector - Theme Parks.

"A concrete and measurable expression of responsible and sustainable tourism".

The Problem

  • Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a known problem in the world and in Costa Rica.
  • Two manifestations of this problem are a main concern for the country:
    • Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in travel and tourism.
    • Human trade of children and adolescents for sexual exploitation.
  • These manifestations complement each other.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents

The use of children and adolescents, with or without their consent, for sexual satisfaction of adults in exchange of remuneration in money or in kind to the minor or a third party.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is:

  • A violation of the fundamental human rights of children and adolescents
  • A form of sexual abuse
  • A forced an harmful way to generate income
  • A modern way of slavery

The Strategy of the "Code of Conduct"

  • Based on an initiative from ECPAT International (2000) and UNWTO in the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism
  • In light of the Children's Rights Convention
  • As an essence of the sustainable tourism model promoted by Costa Rica, acknowledged and supported internationally
  • Developed as a social responsibility project of the national tourism industry
  • Promoted as a self-regulation mechanism of the tourist sector

The Process


Signatory companies agree to comply with the five steps of the Code of Conduct model:

  • Create an ethical policy of zero tolerance towards Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
  • Train their collaborators on every level and during work hours.
  • Insert a clause in their contracts with providers
  • Subscribe the Contract with ICT
  • Place external symbols in places visible to clients and providers.
  • Submit a yearly report that reflects the degree of compliance of the agreement

¡Be an Advocate!

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Última Modificación: 24/05/2024.
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo