UNWTO leads fight against child abuse in tourism
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) headquarters Madrid, has hosted a meeting of experts to discuss measures to fight against child sexual exploitation in the tourism sector. ECPAT International coordinated the initiative, with the support from government of The Netherlands.
According to UNWTO, despite international efforts to stop sexual exploitation of children in tourism, abetted by technology, the sheer speed and scale of this crime has to date, out-paced attempts to respond at the international and national level.
It noted that failure of collective action and chronic lack of robust data constitute the main challenges to eliminate this crime according to Global Study – Offenders on the Move, which is the largest pool of information on the issue to date.
“We cannot build the responsible and sustainable tourism sector that we seek without protecting the most vulnerable in our societies. To do so we need effective tools and a global commitment,” said Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General.
“Article 2 of UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism underlines that the exploitation of human beings in any form, especially when applied to children, conflicts with the fundamental aims of tourism and is the negation of tourism,” he recalled
Taleb also said, “progressing with transforming the Code into a legally binding international treaty, the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics, which we hope will be approved by our General Assembly next September.”