WELCOME packs handed out by a travel agency are warning tourists that “child sex tourism is a criminal offence”
The information features in a Thomas Cook guide’s “top ten tips” for enjoying your holiday, including “haggling with humour” and “respecting local traditions”.
A rep in the family-friendly resort of Hammamet, Tunisia, said: “We have to put that bit in because unfortunately you do get some weirdos wherever you go.
“In Tunisia you get an awful lot of young kiddies trying to make money in the streets. It is just a note we put in as a precaution to give advice if people need help.”
Sheila Taylor, from the National Working Group to Tackle Child Sex Exploitation, said: “This message in the welcome pack could be something people would not expect to see.
“But child exploitation is a problem and we have a duty to reinforce that message.”
No one at Thomas Cook was available for comment.
Charities have also voiced concerns that it is youngsters who are often sent out to work in the tourism trade and are prime target for exploitation. They have spoken out about the “rising problem” of British paedos flying out to cheap holiday destinations to prey on deprived youngsters.
Colin Walker, of UK charity End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking, said: “It is no coincidence that a lot of sex offenders target poor countries. They believe it is easier to get away with there. More needs to be done by the Government.
The courts can issue Foreign Travel Orders to those on the Sex Register to stop them travelling abroad but they are rarely used.
“At the moment those who are found to be guilty of child sex crimes in this country, who are not given these orders, are free to travel the world. And if they are a danger to children abroad, they are a danger to children in the UK.”
by Sian Hewitt