Tirana, September 21, 2022 – CRCA/ECPAT Albania in collaboration with ECPAT Germany, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Development and Economic Cooperation of Germany and GIZ, made public this morning the main findings in the research “Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism in Albania”. The study was prepared by a team of well-known experts in the field, led by Dr. Belioza Çoku.
During 2021, Albania was visited by almost 6 million people, most of them from neighboring and European countries. However, child poverty remains one of the major issues for the exercise of the rights of the child, affecting at least 40 percent of children. The development of travel and tourism sector in Albania and the increase of both local and foreign tourists has amplified the risks of sexual exploitation of children in the tourism. In recent years, Albania has recorded an increase in sexual crimes against children, including the sexual exploitation of children in prostitution, while trafficking for the purposes of economic and sexual exploitation continues to affect a high number of children.
The purpose of the research was to observe how the travel and tourism industry contributes and increases the risk of children becoming victims of sexual exploitation in tourism. One of the main findings of the study is that the authorities and the tourism sector lack information and knowledge on the sexual exploitation of children in tourism.
The research raises the concern that there is a serious failure on the side of the authorities to record data related to the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, by the law enforcement and child protection systems. On the other hand, it is evident that no Albanian company in the field of travel and tourism has signed The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. The sector itself has never engaged in the fight against sexual exploitation of children and does not offer any information on the protection of children from sexual exploitation.
The main recommendations of the study focus on the development of new laws, policies and programs by the travel and tourism industry and the child protection system, aiming to put the protection of children from sexual exploitation at the center of all the initiatives, while law enforcement agencies and tourism operators should increase the level of information and training of staff on this issue, including the membership of hotels in The Code.
For more info, contact: