Switzerland – Tourism

2 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 2020-23

2.1 Pillar 1: state duty to protect

Guiding Principles 1 to 3

2.1.2 Operational principles: legislative and information policy measures

Measure 8 Human rights in tourism
The tourism sector is a major driver of the Swiss economy. However, tourism can have adverse impacts on human rights. For example, local communities may be forced to vacate an area to make way for new hotels, workers may suffer human rights abuses, and children may be exploited and fall victim to sex tourism (cf. Measure 27 below).
The federal government supports the Roundtable on Human Rights in Tourism assessment of human rights impacts along the tourism value chain. This project, which will initially focus on Thailand, adopts a multi-stakeholder approach and seeks to develop practical guidelines for the tourism industry as a whole.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) plays a key part in implementing the UN Guiding Principles in the tourism sector. For example, it has developed and adopted a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, which acknowledges respect for human rights as a fundamental principle.22 As a member of the UNWTO, the federal government is committed to actively promoting implementation of the UN Guiding Principles by the tourism industry.

Objective Indicator Responsibility
Promotion of the implementation of UN Guiding Principles by the tourism industry.


Guidelines for the tourism industry.
Example of Switzerland’s contribution to multilateral standards/recommendations.



2.2 Pillar 2: the corporate responsibility to respect human rights

2.2.2 Operational principles: human rights due diligence

Guiding Principles 16 to 21

Measure 27 Promote efforts to end all forms of child exploitation in supply chains

The federal government also takes action to prevent the exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The ‘Don’t look away’ initiative seeks to raise public awareness of the problem. Tourists and travellers who suspect cases of child sexual exploitation can go to the website, fill out the online report form and send it directly to the Federal Office of Police (fedpol). Increasing numbers of European countries are now joining the campaign. As part of its membership of ECPAT International, which works to end all forms of child sexual exploitation, the federal government launched the ‘Don’t look away’ campaign (ne-detournez-pas-le-regard.ch), regularly attends meetings organised by the network and contributes to discussions.