Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme

International Conference on Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference? (Yerevan, Armenia)

Location

Yerevan
Armenia
40° 10' 59.9988" N, 44° 31' 0.0012" E
Approve event: 
No
Short event's name : 
Conference on Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century
18 October 2012 - 19 October 2012
Location: 
40° 10' 59.9988" N, 44° 31' 0.0012" E

Jointly organised by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia and the UNWTO, the International Conference on “Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference?” took place in Yerevan on the 18th and 19th of October, 2012. The event drew together high-profile international public and private sector stakeholders to discuss the role of sustainable and responsible tourism as a driver of tolerance, intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and the safeguarding of core cultural values. International and regional experts participated in panels on:  the integration of universal values in responsible tourism; tourism, religion and intercultural dialogue; tourism and the protection of cultural heritage sites; solidarity and tourism’s contribution to poverty alleviation; the links between tourism and intangible cultural heritage; and corporate social responsibility in tourism.

Participants at the International Conference on “Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference?” (18-19 October 2012, Yerevan, Armenia)

At the close of the Conference, the Yerevan Declaration, highlighting the role of ethical tourism in advancing intercultural dialogue, was adopted unanimously by the event's participants. The Declaration calls on stakeholders from across the sector to promote ethical values in tourism development, help to enhance cultural diversity and safeguard cultural heritage, disseminate the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and to strive to implement its principles. It urges cooperation between governments, the private sector, host communities and other key-players, stresses that care must be taken to maintain the authenticity of local cultural heritage and avoid over-commodification, and encourages community-based tourism projects and the training of tourism staff in this regard. The document is based on the understanding that tourism involves the kind of cultural interaction that builds understanding and promotes respect for diversity, thus serving as a stepping-stone towards tolerance, solidarity and mutual respect.

Also on the occasion of the Conference, five of Armenia’s most prominent tourism companies signed the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism on the occasion of the International Conference. Representatives of Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, ARM Hotels, Tufenkian Hospitality, the Union of Incoming Tour Operators of Armenia (UITO) and Zvartnots Armenia International Airports, signed the Commitment in the presence of the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, H.E. Mr. Tigran Davtyan, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai. Thereby, these joined an ever growing list of private sector companies and associations that have pledged their dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism by signing the Commitment. Their signature represents a public pledge to uphold, promote and implement the values espoused by the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

More information on the Conference is available at event's official website:http://www.tourismevents.am/Default.aspx

Armenian signatories of the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, with H.E. Mr. Tigran Davtyan, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, and Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General


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Regional Seminar on Responsible Tourism: Opportunities for Women and Youth (Nigeria, June 2012)

Location

Calabar
Nigeria
4° 57' 0" N, 8° 19' 30" E
Approve event: 
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26 June 2012
Location: 
4° 57' 0" N, 8° 19' 30" E

The UNWTO Regional Seminar on Responsible Tourism: Opportunities for Women and Youth, held in Calabar, Nigeria, on the 26th of June 2012, in conjunction with the 53rd UNWTO Regional Commission meeting for Africa, explored the ways in which the tourism sector can improve conditions for women and young persons throughout the region, and, in so doing, benefit the tourism trade at large, view towards enhancing tourism’s positive effects on the economic and social development of Africa. The Seminar gathered policy makers, representatives of the tourism industry, communities engaged in/interested in tourism development, women’s cooperatives, educational institutions, NGOs and civil society organisations.

A full list of participants is available in the event's Programme. A Report of the Seminar and the event's Final Conclusions may also be accessed at the links provided at the bottom of this page.

The principle objectives of the Seminar were to:

  • Raise awareness of the opportunities that tourism offers to women and youth through panel discussions in the context of capacity building, community development, entrepreneurship and leadership; 
  • Determine ways of overcoming obstacles to the empowerment and equality of women and youth in the tourism sector; and
  • Call for enhanced cooperation and coordination between governments, regional and international organizations, the private sector, and civil society actors, to tap the potential of women and youth in tourism.

Background information

One of the fastest growing and most dynamic spheres of the global economy, tourism is not only ideally poised to ensure prosperity, but also to promote women’s empowerment, gender equality, youth employment and children’s rights. Moreover, women and young persons are exceptionally well-placed to plan and establish tourism products based on the wealth of cultural heritage across Africa, whether in the form of handicrafts, folklore, dances, or gastronomy, towards inclusion in lucrative tourism value chains. Since more equal and diversified businesses and organisations produce better results in terms of productivity, sustainability and overall quality, the entire sector stands to profit from the active and equitable participation of women and youth.

To date, the tourism sector has played a significant role in empowering women politically, socially and economically. However, decisive action on behalf of both men and women, at all levels, remains vital in order to close the gender gap, particularly by ensuring equal pay for equal work, raising the quality of women’s employment and ending all forms of discrimination.

Similarly, while as an “entry point”, tourism offers young persons an excellent opportunity to enter the labour market, pressing challenges still remain. Special attention must be paid to improving the vulnerable situation in which young workers often find themselves, particularly due to issues of precarious work and the seasonality of the tourism sector, which may precipitate forms of exploitation.
 


Report of the Seminar (Download a pdf version here)

Opening

The seminar was opened by His Excellency Chief Edem Duke, who welcomed the participants and introduced UNWTO Secretary General Dr Taleb Rifai. Dr Rifai began by setting out how the concept of responsible tourism is complementary to sustainability, and goes beyond environmental aspects of tourism. Responsible tourism should improve people’s quality of life, particularly women’s lives, as women are the future of Africa. It is also important to be aware of the negative impacts that tourism can have on women and youth, for example when tourism infrastructure is used to facilitate the sexual exploitation of women and children. The Secretary General reiterated Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet’s support for tourism as a vehicle for the empowerment of women. He pointed out that tourism is not merely a business, but should improve quality of life for many people. Also, tourism is not just about large hotels and resorts – it includes small-scale tourism enterprises which are particularly relevant in the African context.

Introduction to seminar themes
UNWTO Consultant Dr Lucy Ferguson began by setting out the benefits of focussing on women and youth, both for the tourism sector and for African development. She highlighted in particular the widely acknowledged point that African tourism will only be sustainable if it addresses social and cultural factors and ensure the fair inclusion of women and youth. Next, Dr Ferguson outlined the African policy framework relevant to these issues in the tourism sector, such as the AU/NEPAD Tourism Action Plan, the AU Gender Policy and the AU Youth Charter. The presentation went on to outline the findings of the Global Report on Women in Tourism specific to Africa. Women make up a high proportion of workers in the sector, but earn on average 10% less than men and occupy only one third of all professional level positions. However, women are more likely to be own-account workers and employers in tourism in Africa than in other sectors. While the proportion of women tourism ministers is high, women leaders in other areas the sector are scarce. Women carry out a high amount of unpaid work in family tourism businesses which limits the potential for empowerment in the sector. Unfortunately, equivalent data on youth participation in African tourism is not currently available.

Dr Ferguson presented UNWTO’s three main activities in the area of women in tourism. The Second Global Report on Women in Tourism will offer a more comprehensive review of the participation and status of women in tourism. The terms of reference for the report are ready and work will start as soon as we secure the resources necessary to conduct this study. The Women in Tourism Empowerment Programme is made up for components: Employment Skills Training; Supply Chain; Advancement Programme; and Gender Training. UNWTO is currently seeking countries to serve as pilots for the first stage of the project and funding partners to collaborate on one or a combination of these components. The Gender Mainstreaming in Tourism Strategy is a broad over-arching programme which aims to provide NTAs with the necessary tools and guidelines for enhancing women’s participation in tourism, developed specifically for the tourism sector. Dr Ferguson concluded the presentation by setting out some of the possibilities for collaboration between UNWTO and African institutions on women and youth in tourism.

Panel 1: Forging women leaders in African tourism

This panel discussed the main opportunities for and barriers to women’s leadership in the tourism sector in Africa. Ms Rosalie Balima, Director of Tourism for Burkina Faso explained the ways in which cultural stereotypes that originate in communities can constrain women’s aspirations. Ms. Emuobo Ibru of Ikeja Hotels Nigeria pointed out that there are very few women in high level leadership positions in African tourism. Although many women attend seminars such as this one, men tend not to even though they are in the highest level posts. During the discussion, it was suggested that women’s leadership should be supported at all levels, paying particular attention to grassroots leadership in communities as this is where most African tourism products are based.

The panel then looked at the public sector, private sector and community level in order to explore these issues and proposed practical steps and activities that could be carried out in order to promote and support women’s leadership in the tourism sector. Ms. Ibru pointed out that there are a large number of women’s cooperatives and enterprises poised to take leadership in the tourism sector. However, women must be made aware of the opportunities available in the sector in order to be able to advance. There is also a need to promote favourable conditions for women’s access to finance. In terms of the public sector, there is a need to consider carefully the impact of tourism policies on women. Current policies tend to focus on support for large tourism businesses. However, the majority of opportunities for women are found in rural tourism and ecotourism.

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Panel 2: Strengthening entrepreneurship in Africa’s tourism sector

The second panel discussed the challenges involved in promoting entrepreneurship in the tourism sector. Ms. Nyanya Jagne, President of the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism, The Gambia highlighted market access in tourism as one of the most serious problems facing all entrepreneurs, including women and youth. Chief Sally Ukpo, Executive Director at Suffy Travels Ltd, Nigeria set out a number of challenges to growth for entrepreneurs in African tourism, such as a lack of infrastructure in terms of power and communications. Security issues and instability are also important, as they give a negative image to countries such as Nigeria. Those who want to be entrepreneurs in Nigeria have to deal with a broad range of organisations and face a wide range of obstacles, of which finance is a major issue. A point repeatedly raised in the discussions was the issue of access to land and property. As African women normally do not own land setting up a tourism enterprise is particularly challenging. Often, women entrepreneurs rely on rented land which affects the long terms stability and sustainability of their businesses.

The panel then explored what concrete measures need to be taken in order to support entrepreneurship by women and youth, and a number of suggestions were made. In terms of the public sector, governments should facilitate the application process for loans and business permits and simplify the bureaucratic procedures required by different institutions by centralising such processes. They should also consider tax incentives for tourism entrepreneurs and provide a framework for sustainable tourism policies at the national and regional level. Also important is the need for governments to develop bids for international donors in order to promote women entrepreneurs in tourism. In terms of the private sector, tourism companies need to introduce and comply with their own codes of conduct in order to ensure decent work and prevent any form of exploitation. At the community level, Chief Ukpo highlighted the need to promote cooperation between women entrepreneurs and the forming of associations in order to be able to create sustainable products and services for local and global markets. It was also suggested that in order to combat the volatility of tourism seasonality women and youth should be encouraged to combine handicraft production during the low season with the reception of tourists in the high season. In addition, there should be a gradual shift of emphasis from microenterprises to small and medium-sized enterprises for women and youth, as these are more likely to be profitable on a long-term basis.

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Panel 3: Capacity Building and community development

In the final panel, the discussion considered how capacity building in the tourism sector can benefit women and young people. The issue of quotas for women’s participation was discussed. For example, 40% of participants in GIZ projects must be women. However, this is not enough to ensure that a gender approach is mainstreamed and much more decisive actions are needed. Both Mr Akinropo Omoware of GIZ Nigeria and Mr Sina Adefolahan of the Women Consortium of Nigeria stressed the importance of wide-reaching gender training at all levels of the tourism sector – from ministerial to community level. The challenge of how to construct shared meaning on gender was raised, in order to ensure that local people are engaged in these projects. Several presenters outlined how the stereotyping of young people – particularly young men - hinders their opportunities for advancement in the tourism sector. Mr Adefolahan discussed the potential of tourism to combat human trafficking by working with women’s cooperatives, addressing the gender division of labour in the household and reducing the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

The panel also explored how women and young people can acquire skills to harness their intangible cultural heritage assets through tourism development. Ms. Laetitia Yei Adou of the Tourism Division of West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) discussed how UEMOA’s common tourism policy incorporates intangible cultural heritage and funds young entrepreneurs to access training in activities such as handicrafts through microcredit schemes. Mr Adefolahan pointed out that intangible cultural heritage has to be accepted and taken on by young people – it is not something that can be identified or imposed from above or outside. The panel discussion concluded with a reflection on how increased capacity building for women and young people can benefit the tourism sector as a whole. Mr Munzali Dantata of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Nigeria explained that women and young people have to be well trained in order to be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by tourism. He argued that the sector could benefit significantly from more systematic and formalised education and training. Mr Omoware and Mr Sina Adefolahan stressed the importance of including young people in decision-making in the tourism sector. When young people feel ownership for projects through meaningful participation the results are more likely to be positive and enhance the overall sustainability of the sector.

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Conclusions and recommendations

In the concluding comments, Dr Lucy Ferguson outlined the key challenges and opportunities that were identified during the seminar. In terms of challenges, she first noted the lack of systematic information on women and youth in the tourism sector. She went on to identify some of the barriers to participation and leadership by women and youth in the sector, such as: the lack of equal opportunities in employment markets; women’s economic literacy; barriers to inclusion into tourism supply chains; lack of vocational training opportunities; and cultural stereotyping of women and young men. In terms of leadership, cultural stereotypes that originate in communities can constrain women’s aspirations. Moreover, there is often a gap between women’s ambitions for leadership in the sector and the level of training, capacity building and overall knowledge of tourism. The presentation then highlighted some of the opportunities for the sector in focussing on women and youth, such as a supportive and complementary African policy framework, the importance of grassroots leadership programmes at the community level, and the significant potential of intangible cultural heritage for involving young people and women in a proactive way in the tourism sector.

Three broad sets of recommendations were given. In terms of information, the recommendations focussed on the need for more systematic data collection, the sharing of best practices and the establishment of an African Network of Women in Tourism, to be facilitated by UNWTO. The recommendations for economic empowerment involve promoting economic literary programmes, support for cooperatives and widespread vocational training and skills development for women and youth. In terms of institutional aspects, Dr Ferguson identified a need to forge cooperation between the tourism private sector and women’s and youth organisations and the importance of gender training across all sectors. She then set out a number of suggestions for collaboration between UNWTO, NTAs, private sector actors and NGOs on these issues, focussing specifically on an Empowerment Programme for Women and Youth in African Tourism. The presentation concluded with a call to ensure that Africa is at the forefront of the contribution of the tourism sector to global development.

Closing ceremony

Mr Frédéric Pierret, UNWTO Executive Director for Programme and Coordination, reinforced UNWTO’s commitment to gender equality and women’s rights, stating that these are fundamental components of responsible and sustainable tourism. The seminar was closed by Chief Duke, who thanked all the participants and expressed a desire to work together on these issues.


Final Conclusions of the Seminar (Download a pdf version here)

These conclusions set out the key challenges and opportunities that were identified during the seminar. They also provide general recommendations and suggest specific steps for moving in this area.

Challenges

There are three main challenges for the fair inclusion of women and youth in the African tourism sector.

First, we lack systematic information on women and youth in the tourism sector. While we have some preliminary data on women’s participation from the Global Report, we are still short of detailed studies and current data. Moreover, while we have general data on youth labour market participation and unemployment, we are missing any substantive data on youth in tourism. As identified by the presenters, there is also a gap between available funding opportunities and the capacity of women and youth to access information on these.

Second, there are some strong barriers to women and youth participation in the sector. For women, there are both participation and leadership barriers. Women’s participation in the tourism sector is limited by the lack of equal opportunities in employment markets, shortcomings in women’s economic literacy, challenges in forming profitable and sustainable cooperatives, and lack of inclusion into tourism supply chains. Women’s leadership can be constrained by cultural stereotypes that originate in communities that limit women’s aspirations. There is also often a gap between women’s ambitions for leadership in the sector and the level of training, capacity building and overall knowledge of tourism. The issue of land is also important to highlight, as African women are not usually the title holders of land and property, making it difficult to guarantee long term stability and sustainability of women’s tourism businesses. Youth also face barriers to full participation in the tourism sector. Many of the issues are the same – in particular in terms of cultural stereotyping - but the need for appropriate vocational training and skills development training are particularly pertinent in the African youth context.

Third, the high proportion of contributing family workers is an issue to be addressed. As highlighted in the ILO’s Global Trends for Youth report, a large proportion of young people are performing unpaid work in family businesses. We know that for women, there are more contributing family workers in tourism than in other sectors, in Africa and in most world regions. We need to look in more detail about how women and youth’s status as contributing family workers may be limiting their fair inclusion into the tourism sector.

Opportunities

As well as a number of challenges, the opportunities for women and youth in the tourism sector are significant. Women already make up the majority of workers in the hotel and restaurant sector and are more likely to be employers, own-account workers and ministers in this sector than in other sectors. At the same time, an average of 2.1 million young people will be entering the labour market in sub Saharan Africa between 2012 and 2015.

The tourism private sector is poised to harness the significant potential of women and youth and to stem youth migration from rural to urban areas, both for the sustainability of the sector and African development as a whole. In addition to this potential, a complementary African policy framework is in place to support these goals. The Africa Action Plan, Tourism Action Plan, Gender Policy and Youth Charter all affirm their strong commitment to the fair inclusion of women and youth in Africa’s economic development. The seminar identified a number of opportunities each thematic area.

In leadership, women and youth leadership should be considered at all levels starting with the community level, developing grassroots leadership programmes and working upwards from there. In entrepreneurship, a suggestion was made to combat the volatility of tourism seasonality – by encouraging handicraft production during the low season with the reception of tourists in the high season. In capacity building, an interesting case was mentioned in Botswana of the training levy for tourism which is systematically included in tourism pricing, establishing a fund to ensure resources are generated for this area. Intangible cultural heritage also offers significant opportunities for women and young people, and we need to think about how to involve young people in a positive and empowered way in this process.

General Recommendations

Information

  • Collect data and information in the form of statistics and qualitative research such as interview and in-depth case studies – particularly important in the area of youth as we simply do not have the necessary information to proceed in this area
  • Identify more best practices, including in-depth engagement with potential best practices to see what works and why
  • Create an African Network of Women in Tourism in order to share best practices and provide support to women’s business
  • Establish a focal point for information on funding activities and facilitate the dissemination of these opportunities among women and young people

Economic empowerment

  • Promote economic literacy programmes for women and youth
  • Support women’s and youth cooperatives
  • Conduct interventions to overcome the constraints to the entry of women’s cooperatives in tourism supply chains
  • Provide training to access funding and use this in an optimal way in order to produce long term and sustainable results
  • Promote a gradual shift from microenterprises to small and medium-sized enterprises for women and youth in order to ensure greater profitability in the long-term
  • Secure women’s access to land, credit and property to promote the sustainability of women’s tourism businesses

Institutional aspects

  • Forge cooperation between tourism private sector and women and youth organisations
  • Work together to eliminate barriers to women and youth’s fair and sustainable inclusion
  • Develop gender training across all levels in order to work on these issues
  • Include women and youth as active participants in the formulation of policy and projects
  • Encourage tourism companies to introduce and comply with their own codes of conduct in order to ensure decent work and prevent any form of exploitative practices in the tourism sector

Moving forward and next steps

This seminar should help to set in motion a combination of macro (gender mainstreaming strategy, national policies and coordination by UNWTO, WITEP pilot programme) and micro (specific policies, programmes and projects, for example collaboration on one or more components of WITEP) activities. A focal point/means of communication should be established – a Gender and Tourism Portal could be a potential tool for this, as well as the proposed African Network of Women in Tourism. In addition to the practical aspects of collaboration, it wilI be helpful to consider the different priority areas in current funding streams which might offering opportunities: for example, MDG3, women’s economic empowerment, decent work, vocational training and youth participation. New funding streams will also open up as the development policy agenda is reformulated post-2015, presenting an opportunity to ensure that Africa is at the forefront of the contribution of the tourism sector to global development.

Based on the overall conclusions of the presentations and debates of the seminar, it is evident that NTAs need substantive assistance in order to promote the fair inclusion of women and youth in African tourism. UNWTO should provide ongoing technical support and establish itself as a reference point for communication, exchange and information in this area.

Proposal for Collaboration

Based on these conclusions, UNWTO recommends the development of an Empowerment Programme for African Women and Youth in Tourism. This will be a regional level project developed with the support of UNWTO’s Commission for Africa and the Ethics and Social Dimensions of Tourism Programme. Based on the blueprint for the UNWTO Women in Tourism Empowerment Programme, this will be further developed by drawing on the specific challenges and opportunities presented in African countries, as highlighted by the Calabar seminar. A draft proposal will be drawn up by UNWTO in collaboration with the Commission for Africa in order to be presented to bilateral or multilateral donors.


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2nd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism

Location

Quito
Ecuador
0° 13' 0.0012" S, 78° 31' 0.0012" W
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11 September 2012 - 12 September 2012
Location: 
0° 13' 0.0012" S, 78° 31' 0.0012" W

The 2nd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism, jointly organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, took place in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, on the 11th and 12th of September 2012. (Please click here for the Programme in English or Spanish)

H.E. Mr. Freddy Ehlers, Minister of Tourism Ecuador (right) and UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai

Following in the footsteps of the 1st International Congress on Ethics and Tourism (held in Madrid, Spain, in September 2011), the event sought to promote responsible, sustainable and fair tourism development at the global level, for the benefit of all sectors of society, and within the universally accepted reference framework that is the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism of the UNWTO, endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2001.

Pictured below: Ms. Cristina Suaña, Congress Panellist and
President of the Asociación de Turismo Vivencial Uros Khantati, Peru

 

Within this ethical framework for tourism, the 2nd International Congress supported and disseminated the concept of Conscious Tourism - insightfully promoted by the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador. 

 

The concept of Concious Tourism constitutes innovative thinking based on the same principles of sustainability and ethics promoting the values of peace, friendship, respect, and love for life as the essence of the practice of tourism.

Ms. Anna Pollock, Founder of the "Concious Travel" Movement and Congress participant

With over 350 participants from nearly 40 countries in attendance, representing governments and national and local authorities, international organizations and NGOs, the business sector and education and training institutions, the event discussed the opportunities and challenges  facing responsible tourism development today.

In-depth discussions particularly focused on specific issues related to environmental sustainability, the protection and respect of human rights (especially the rights of women, children and indigenous peoples), social inclusion, universal accessibility and tourism for all (focused above all on persons with disabilities or reduced mobility and the elderly) and the role played by the private sector to ensure the sustainability of tourism and corporate social responsibility.

Signature of the Private Sector Commitment to the Code of Ethics (individuals pictured from left to right): Mr. Marcio Favilla, UNWTO Executive Director; Mr. Enrique Ponce de Leon, Director-General of Hoteles Decameron Ecuador; H.E. Mr. Freddy Ehlers, Minister of Tourism of Ecuador; Ms. Liliana Vasquez, President of FIASEET; FIASEET; Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General; and Mr. Carlos Garcia Santos, President of Destino Punta del Este (Uruguay) at the 2nd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism (September 2012, Quito)

In the context of the 2nd Congress three prominent private sector stakeholders formally signed the Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism of the UNWTO. These signatory entities were:  Destino Punta del Este (Uruguay), FIASEET (Federación Internacional de Asociaciones de Ejecutivas de Empresas Turísticas) and Hoteles Decameron Ecuador.

Events celebrating Ecuador's rich cultural heritage on the occasion of the Congress


Presentations by Panellists

Opening

1st Session: Conscious Tourism for a new era

2nd Session: An ethical framework for Responsible Tourism

3rd Session: Tourism as a driver for Human Rights and Social Inclusion

4th Session: Accessible Tourism

5th Session: The Commitment of the Private Sector


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Eleventh Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics

Location

Rome
Italy
41° 54' 5.4504" N, 12° 27' 38.7864" E
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13 July 2012
Location: 
41° 54' 5.4504" N, 12° 27' 38.7864" E

The Eleventh Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, held in Rome, Italy on the 12th and 13th of  July 2012, closed with calls to make “Safe Coastal Tourism” a priority in coastal destinations worldwide.

The eleventh meeting of the Committee, held in 2012 in Rome, Italy

The Committee heard from invited guest, Dr. Caroline Danneels, founder of the non-profit organization “Safe Coastal Tourism”, on the importance of safety precautions at beaches and marinas across the globe. Based in the Flemish Community of Belgium, the organization works to raise awareness of the crucial need for adequate safety measures and the provision of accurate information to tourists to prevent often fatal accidents at coastal sites. Committee members drew particular attention to the need for safety warnings, in the form of signs and flags, to alert visitors to dangerous conditions, and the absolute necessity of life-guards and life-buoys to aid in rescues, even during tourist “low-season”.

As the body responsible for promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the Committee applauded the signature of the first Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics by 11 of Spain’s most prominent tourism companies at the 1st International Congress on Ethics and Tourism (15-16 September 2011, Madrid, Spain). This Commitment represents a public pledge on behalf of tourism enterprises to implement and promote the values enshrined in the Code of Ethics, both by integrating ethical practices into their business operations, and by reporting periodically to the Committee on their actions in this regard.

The body further analyzed a number of pressing ethical issues including the fight against human trafficking and child exploitation, the road to greater gender equality and accessibility in tourism, and developments for the protection of tourists/consumers and tourism enterprises. With reference to the latter, the Committee reiterated its support for UNWTO’s preparation of an international legal instrument in this area.

Committee members further backed UNWTO’s firm stand against human trafficking, especially child trafficking, in the tourism sector, applauding the Organization’s signature of a cooperation agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in April 2012. In the sphere of accessible tourism, the Committee reasserted its support of the collaboration between UNWTO, the Spanish ONCE Foundation and ACS Foundation, as well as the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), in the interest of improving tourism’s accessibility, particularly for persons with disabilities.


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Press release of the Committee's 11th meeting

For more information on the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, please click here

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16th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Location

ITB Tourism Fair Berlin
Germany
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
12 March 2005
Location: 
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E

Report of the sixteenth meeting of the
TASK FORCE
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

(ITB, Berlin, 12 March 2005)

Download a PDF of this report here (Please note that links to presentations within this PDF may not function properly)

1. The Task Force to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism held its sixteenth meeting in Berlin on 12 March 2005, as part of parallel events held during ITB. The meeting, which was attended by almost 80 delegates, featured a Special Session on the Role of the Hospitality Industry in the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism (SECT).

OPENING REMARKS

2. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Task Force, WTO Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Dawid de Villiers, opened the Task Force meeting by welcoming participants from 24 governments, three intergovernmental organizations, seven international or regional organizations, seven national associations and companies from the tourism industry, fifteen non-governmental organizations (NGOs), two education institutions and one from the media.

3. The Chairman mentioned the relevance of the Task Force meeting as an important point of reference at the ITB fair every year. The structure of these meetings consists of two sessions: the first part is focused on the discussion of a specific subject, and the second one contains an exchange of ideas and information through presentations from participants. He underlined the fact that the Task Force is an open meeting where no membership is required, and in which tourism stakeholders, including governments, the tourism industry and organizations dealing with the problem of child sex tourism, are represented. The role of WTO in this regard is to act as clearing house and to provide the Secretariat for the meeting.

4. With respect to the designation of the government representative in the Executive Committee of the Task Force whose position became vacant, Dr. de Villiers explained that in order to avoid an election, he agreed with the Brazilian and the Sri Lankan candidates running for the seat, that the outgoing member, Brazil, would continue on the Committee for a third term, and that Sri Lanka would be invited to sit in the Executive Committee in the capacity of Permanent Observer.

5. The Chairman requested, nevertheless, that the composition of the Executive Committee be revised in the near future, and also asked participants to put forward their suggestions concerning any changes they would propose with regard to the Committee’s functions and activities.

6. Finally, Dr. De Villiers introduced the three speakers of the Special Session on the Hospitality Industry, and gave the floor to the moderator of this session, Ms. Lyndall de Marco, Task Force Adviser on Corporate Responsibility.

SPECIAL SESSION: THE ROLE OF THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN THE PREVENTION OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

7. Ms. Elizabeth Carroll-Simon, Director for Industry Affairs at the International Hotel & Restaurant Association, explained the overall mission of this non-profit organization, which consists in providing a platform to form industry positions/views to take to international organizations, and to disseminate information. As a global network organization, IH&RA is the only international trade association devoted to defend and represent the interests of the hotel industry worldwide. It has two core categories of membership: (a) chains, and (b) national hotel and/or restaurant associations around the world. She mentioned that the Association was actively involved in the three dimensions of sustainable development of tourism, and that it encouraged environmental best practices and the fight against SECT. IH&RA has worked with national associations in raising awareness of the problem of SECT by producing guidelines and pamphlets in several languages. They are also supporting the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism and the Youth Career initiative, which was officially launched in Bangkok.

8. Ms. Carroll-Simon made reference to the contract language developed by Carlson, whereby suppliers and licensees may agree to: (a) provide the knowledge that SECT is a criminal offence, giving staff the proper training in order to identify possible instances of this crime and to know how to report to local police and, (b) prohibit the use of company’s materials and equipment for the viewing, storing, distributing or promoting of SECT. In this regard, she added, it is also important to establish procedures to reinforce these policies and to prohibit the use of images or concepts in marketing related to SECT. Finally, Ms. Carroll- Simon suggested that suppliers should refrain from being involved themselves, or engaging, in business with companies involved in SECT. Presentation of Ms. Carroll-Simon (IH&RA)

9. Mr. Kurt Strohmayer, General Manager, JW Marriott Bucharest, reported on the Youth Career Initiative aimed at providing a six month education program in his hotel for high school graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. This pilot program started in August 2004 and finished in March 2005 including theoretical education and practical training within all areas of the hotel. The sessions were delivered by the hotel management team, including all supervisory levels, from department heads and executive committee members to line managers and supervisors.

10. Mr. Strohmayer mentioned that the YCI program had been incorporated in Marriott’s internal training plan, which has also integrated existing training materials on such subjects as hospitality skills and customer service excellence. The YCI students were actively engaged in several internal events organized on special occasions for their associates, such as the traditional JW Marriott Bucharest Halloween Pumpkin contest or the Christmas Kids Party. He pointed out the partnerships established with ECDL Romania (European Computer Driving License), as well as other companies that sponsored the program in Bucharest by offering their services and products. Presentation of Mr. Strohmayer (Marriott)

11. Ms. Charlotte Thouvard, Accor Corporate Communications and External Relations, reported about Accor’s Sustainable Development Policy, where the combat against child-sex tourism was under the responsibility of a member of the Management Board as part of the company’s Commitment to Sustainability. She mentioned the major actions of the ACCOR/ECPAT partnership for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in tourism. The commitment to the Code of Conduct for the Travel and Tourism Industry led to establishing an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children and to training the personnel in countries where the company is settled. ACCOR has also conducted several information and awareness campaigns in France and Thailand, and most recently in Brazil, which included an Ethical Charter and specific bar and restaurant displays in all Novotel, Mercure and Parthenon Hotels.

12. Moreover, the training and awareness program has targeted over 5000 staff members in 45 hotels situated in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and other countries. It is expected that these activities would be implemented in Senegal and Romania in 2005. As part of fund-raising events, Ms. Thouvard said that they organize the Annual Accor/Ecpat Charity Walk in Bangkok. ACCOR also makes in-kind contributions providing free of charge accommodation to ECPAT staff members during General Assemblies or other major meetings. She explained that her company would extend its partnership with ECPAT by progressively signing the Code of Conduct in each country where they have already implemented some of the actions mentioned above, such as Dominican Republic, Mexico and French Guyana. Presentation of Ms. Thouvard (ACCOR)

13. Ms. Lyndall de Marco, Executive Director of the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) at the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, and moderator of the session, reminded that the sexual exploitation of children did not happen in isolation, and that it was a consequence of a bigger problem. She said that there still were 120 million children around the world who will never go to school, of whom 80 million were girls. Unless everybody worked together, children will continue to be put in danger. When a hotel is established in a new area, she said, it should be everybody´s responsibility that the community that surrounds that hotel is looked after. It is a holistic problem, which is about sustainable investment and sustainable development. Ms. De Marco asked government representatives not to let any hotels operate in their country unless these fulfil the conditions set out in a short document she presented, called Commitment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation. Government representatives attending the meeting agreed on the feasibility of this commitment and accepted to support this initiative. Commitment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation

THEME FOR NEXT SPECIAL SESSION

14. After closing the Special Session on the Hospitality Industry, Dr. de Villiers asked Task Force participants to select a new theme for the special session to be held at the next Task Force meeting in London (WTM, November 2005) and proposed two possible options:
(A) government policies to combat the sexual exploitation of children in tourism, and
(B) child pornography produced by tourists travelling to certain destinations.
Participants selected option A.

REPORTING SESSION
SITUATION OF CHILDREN AT RISK IN ASIAN COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY THE TSUNAMI DISASTER

15. Mr. Thamrin Bachri, Deputy Minister for Capacity Building and International Relations, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia, reported about the actions taken by his government for the protection of children in the aftermath of tsunami. He explained that this natural disaster affected 2 out of 33 provinces in the country, causing thousands of victims as well as an estimated damage of US$ 4.5 billion in infrastructure, lands and residence. Mr. Bachri mentioned that a Recovery Program for Children Protection was build up on three different stages: (a) Emergency Relief, to ensure the fulfillment of their basic needs; (b) Rehabilitation, to recover public service standards and to continue treatments for children, and (c) Reconstruction, to rebuild all systems of society (economical, educational, organizational, etc.). He thanked the support of ACCOR group in the publication of training manuals related to SECT, which were also translated into Indonesian and distributed in four hotel schools in the country. Presentation of Mr. Bachri (Indonesia)

16. Mr. Luc Ferran, Tourism Coordinator at ECPAT International, informed about measures taken by various national ECPAT groups in countries affected by the tsunami. He reminded the vulnerability of children in Indonesia prior to the disaster, along with the existence of trafficking of girls from rural areas and a high incidence of child prostitution. The Centre for Study and Child Protection (PKPA), which is the ECPAT group in Indonesia, drafted an Action Plan involving the development of a database to record information about child survivors, as well as their re-enrolment in education programmes and/or schools and the establishment of small community-based care centres and youth support centres. Mr. Ferran also explained the situation of Sri Lanka where child sex tourism was already a major problem prior to tsunami. He underlined the activities carried out by the NGO “Protecting Environment And Children Everywhere” (PEACE) which works with the poor in coastal communities of Colombo to fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children. They have conducted several programmes providing basic aid materials, packages of dry food and school materials. He also referred to traumatised children in close proximity to tourists as a major vulnerability in Thailand. Finally, Mr. Ferran mentioned that one of the necessary steps to deal with child sex tourism would be to promote a sustainable redevelopment of tourism which incorporates child rights. Presentation of Mr. Ferran (ECPAT)

17. Ms. Stella Schuhmacher, Programme Officer at UNICEF, presented the situation of child protection in tsunami affected areas. The major actions undertaken by UNICEF in response to the disaster were emergency immunization to prevent fatal childhood diseases, supply of clean water and provision of basic sanitation, as well as the protection and placement of unaccompanied and separated children. After these emergency relief efforts, Ms. Schuhmacher explained that they were in process of planning the rehabilitation and long term reconstruction of the countries affected. UNICEF has also provided information on psychosocial support in Thailand and the Maldives. She focused on some of the future concerns that include continued risks of child exploitation; support to single parent households; programs to address domestic violence; and training of UN staff on their own Code of Conduct. Finally, she gave a detailed report on the situation in specific countries affected by tsunami disaster and on the particular actions taken by UNICEF in the context of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Presentation of Ms. Schuhmacher (UNICEF)

18. Dr. Dawid de Villiers reported about the WTO Emergency Task Force meeting hosted by the Thai Government in Phuket on 31 January 2005, and which was attended by all the major role players in tourism industry. Although the tsunami caused damage to tourism only in a relatively small area, international arrivals immediately dropped by 80% in countries affected, as tourists’ perception of a whole area in danger still remained. The Phuket Action Plan was drafted as a result of the event, including short-term activities to be introduced focusing on marketing and communications, community relief, professional training, sustainable redevelopment and risk management. In addition, several steps were also taken in order to provide funds to small and medium-sized operators to resume their business and to encourage people to visit the countries again. Dr. de Villiers remarked that, through the full cooperation of national governments and international organizations, this problem could become an opportunity to build a long-term recovery program following the principles of sustainability and those included in the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

19. Dr. Prathap Ramanujam, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka, mentioned in this regard that a Children Protection Authority had been set up in his country and that all the orphan children had been taken care of by the Social Welfare Department. Mr. Patrick MATLOU, Deputy Director General of Tourism of South Africa, said that most of the presentations of the meeting were focused on the supply side in developing countries, but a more global view of the problem was necessary to include the main issues of the demand coming from developed countries. He further remarked that the tsunami also affected some African countries, and the big challenge was to get aid to these areas while a more balanced outlook of the disaster was needed.

REPORTS ON ACTIONS/MEASURES TAKEN BY GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS

20. Ms. Angela Bähr, Project Team Leader for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), made a brief presentation on the project she was carrying out whose objective was the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on trafficking in children, child prostitution and child pornography. The duration of the project, she said, would be from April 2004 until December 2007, and involved specific countries and regions where German cooperation is particularly active, i.e. Dominican Republic, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Kenya and Tanzania. Target groups of the project were the judiciary, the police, the health, education and tourism sector; as well as children and adolescents in partner countries, victims of sexual exploitation. Along with the supply side, the project also expected to reach the demand side through the cooperation with German NGOs and the German Ministry of Family Affairs. Ms. Bähr said that the project included some advisory services to governmental and non-governmental players in selected partner countries on the development of codes of conduct within the tourism sector. Moreover, several training and education programmes for police staff, justice departments and educational institutions were also planned. Presentation of Ms. Bähr (GTZ)

CODE FOR THE RESPONSIBLE TOURIST AND TRAVELLER

21. Dr. de Villiers made reference to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism as a useful and comprehensive tool for tourism development, and to the activities carried out by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics related to the Code’s application and dissemination. He explained that a draft version based on the Code of Ethics, but exclusively addressed to tourist, entitled The Responsible Tourist and Traveller would be submitted to the World Committee at its next meeting to be held in Tunis, Tunisia, on 16-17 May 2005. The aim this new document was to make tourists aware of the principles stated in the Code of Ethics, in a simplified and user-friendly manner. Ms. Christine Beddoe, Director of ECPAT UK, read the text of the draft.

22. Finally, under “other matters”, Ms. Christine Beddoe made reference to a joint initiative carried out between ECPAT UK and the British Police immediately after the tsunami, which consisted in setting up an intelligence gathering focal point to work with the NGOs and the tourism industry to bring together any information on child trafficking out of the region, as well as the likelihood of British sex offenders going to the region to work as volunteers. She added that Britain had a well-organized system of registering sex offenders when they leave and enter the country.

23. Mr. Sebastian Baumeister from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) informed that his Organization has been promoting the Code of Conduct for the Travel and Tourism Industry, in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro in cooperation with GTZ.

NEXT MEETING

24. After thanking participants for their attention and contributions to the meeting, Dr. De Villiers announced that the seventeenth Task Force meeting was scheduled to take place at WTM London, on 14 November 2005.


See also

  • Download a PDF of the Report of the 16th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism (Berlin, 12 March 2005) (Please note that links to presentations are not accessible within this PDF)
Category
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15th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Location

World Travel Market London
United Kingdom
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W
Approve event: 
No
8 November 2004
Location: 
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W

Report of the fifteenth meeting of the
TASK FORCE
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

(WTM, London, 8 November 2004)

Download a PDF of this report here (Please note that links to presentations within this PDF may not function properly)

1. The Task Force to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism held its fifteenth meeting in London on 8 November 2004, as part of parallel events held during the World Travel Market (WTM 2004). The meeting, which was attended by over 70 delegates, featured a Special Session on the Role of the Travel Media in the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism (SECT).

Opening Remarks

2. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Task Force, WTO Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Dawid de Villiers, opened the Task Force meeting by welcoming participants from 22 governments, three intergovernmental organizations, eight international or regional industry associations, four national associations and companies, fourteenth nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and three education institutions.

3. The Chairman mentioned the two regular annual meetings of the Task Force in Berlin (ITB) and in London (WTM) to which participants are invited to review the latest developments in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. He also reminded the support received from major role players in the tourism sector, such as governments, private sector and other organizations, in coordinating activities and sharing experiences in this field.

4. Dr. de Villiers further invited participants to attend the Seminar on "Sustainable Tourism and Childhood" scheduled to take place on 2-4 December 2004 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, in the framework of the First World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development, and in conjunction with the forthcoming WTO Executive Council.

5. Moreover, he announced the upcoming vacancy of the government seat at the Executive Committee of the Task Force and encouraged interested NTAs of Member States to send in their applications for the elections which would take place at the next meeting in Berlin.

6. Finally, with regard to the selection of the theme for the next Task Force meeting in Berlin, Dr. de Villiers presented two possible options: (a) government policies, and (b) actions taken by the hotel industry to combat the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. The second topic was selected by the participants.

Special Session: The Role of the Travel Media in the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism

7. Mr. Neal Baldwin, Deputy Editor of Travel Weekly, United Kingdom?s leading trade newspaper, reported about the magazine?s 2004 campaign to raise awareness on “child sex tourism”. As first stage, a general background piece was run about the issue with a full page magazine-style image with just one photograph and a headline. He also pointed out how the travel industry was playing a role in changing consumer attitude to Child Sex Tourism (CST) in countries and regions such as Australia, Scandinavia and the Far East. In an effort to involve industry stakeholders, a meeting was set up with senior representatives from UK?s major travel retailers, including the four big vertically-integrated travel companies and representatives from major independent groups.

8. Travel Weekly subsequently created a CST training programme addressed to the travel industry, which was further supported by the Home Office through studies into consumer attitudes on CST. The survey results revealed that 46% of respondents knew „little or nothing? about Child Sexual Tourism, and 34% said that they would be more likely to book with operator that took positive action on CST. Finally, Mr. Baldwin announced a pilot scheme to be launched in Africa in conjunction with The Travel Foundation, a UK charity running sustainable tourism projects. Presentation of Mr. Baldwin

9. Mr. Mike Jempson, Director of the PressWise Trust, presented one of the early campaigns by Mediawise consisting in looking at ways of reporting children?s issues in the media, especially in the context of Children Sexual Exploitation. He said that his organization had been working in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in many training workshops in Latin America, Africa and South East Asia. The IFJ had provided, over the last 8 years, a wide range of ideas, training and discussion that helped to raise interest of member unions, by producing reports and guidelines and encouraging unions to develop their own version.

10. IFJ is trying to make journalists more sensitive to the problem and to the various campaigns carried out by UNICEF, ECPAT and WTO. Mr. Jempson explained that at local level, many stakeholders of the tourism industry -policy makers, tour operators, local journalists and hotels- are beginning to talk about how to gather information and how they could publicize what they had discovered. These little communication networks could therefore be linked across borders with other people doing similar work, thus starting to create patterns and to have an impact on both ends, where the tourists come from and where the sexual exploitation is taking place. He mentioned that the challenge for the future would be how to build real practical networks at the various ends of this activity, through the cooperation of all the people involved. In this field, journalists could provide the information that otherwise would be difficult to get out.

Reporting Session: Second Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics
11. The WTO Deputy Secretary-General Dr. de Villiers reported on the Second Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, held in Madrid on 4-5 October 2004. The Committee was entrusted by General Assembly to promote the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and make it a living document. He emphasized the importance of its implementation and the continuous awareness that is taking place in several countries. At its second meeting, the Committee adopted procedures for consultation and conciliation for the settlement of disputes concerning the application of the Global Code of Ethics. He further mentioned the proposal made by the Brazilian Government for the drafting of an additional Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the protection of children against sexual exploitation in tourism. Finally, Dr. de Villiers made reference to the offer made by the Italian Government to host the permanent headquarters of the World Committee in Rome, which would be discussed and probably accepted at the next meeting of the Committee.

Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism

12. Ms. Camelia Tepelus, Secretariat Coordinator of the Steering Committee of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, explained the main issues of this Code that engages the tourism private sector in preventing and combating sexual exploitation of children. It is a global project implemented at national level through ECPAT Groups, with the support of several international organizations such as UNICEF, WTO and the European Commission. She mentioned the Code criteria that consist of a set of six practical measures to be taken by the private sector in the tourism industry (tour operators, travel agencies, hotels). Finally, Ms. Tepelus reported on the results of the implementation of the Code of Conduct adopted by over 54 companies in 17 countries, and about the launch of the Code in North America. Presentation of Ms. Tepelus

Reports on actions/measures taken by governments and organizations

13. Mr. Gabriele Guglielmi, National Officer of FILCAMS – Federation of Italian Workers in Trade, Hotels, Catering and Services - made a presentation at the meeting on behalf the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations –IUF-. His colleague Ms. Anna Quartucci, reported about the several documents adopted by IUF to fight the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. She said that the commitment of the Federation included both origin and destination countries, and presented various actions carried out in collaboration with the Unit of Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She further explained the Italian collaborative experience called EBIT (Ente Bilaterale Industria Turistica), which was formed by trade unions and tourism enterprises associations, and which included different aspects of corporate social responsibility. Presentation of Mr. Guglielmi and Ms. Quartucci

14. Representing the hotel industry, Ms. Charlotte Thouvard, Accor Corporate Communications, reported about the major actions of the ACCOR/ECPAT partnership for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in tourism. The commitment to the Code of Conduct led to training and awareness programs targeting clients and employees in Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and other countries, as well as fund-raising events for ECPAT educational activities in Thailand. She underlined specific actions to combat this practice included by her company in its corporate policies, throughout the ACCOR brands and the countries. Presentation of Ms. Thouvard

15. Ms. Susan D’Arcy, Carlson Wagonlit Travel Global Brand Delivery Manager, gave a brief description of her company which represents the second largest business travel agency globally, with a wide presence and operation in more than 140 countries. She mentioned the several steps taken to support the ECPAT Code of Conduct, starting with building awareness among business travel employees. She referred to a recent announcement made to company employees introducing ECPAT to them with a view of increasing their commitment to the initiative. Among the awareness actions taken by CWT, Ms. D?Arcy mentioned a ticket jacket distributed worldwide in support to the Code of Conduct. The aim of this initiative was to communicate to tourism industry key players that the company had addressed the issue of the protection of children through the Code of Conduct. Presentation of Ms. D’Arcy

16. Mr. Prathap Ramanujam, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka, presented a report titled “Review of progress, challenges and way forward towards Yokohama Global Commitment 2001”, which reflected his country?s actions against the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in his country. He mentioned that due to the fact that child prostitution had assumed serious proportions, the government of Sri Lanka was committed to reverse this trend and to protect its children from all kinds of abuse, and encouraged all sectors of society to join efforts in this cause. Mr. Ramanujam mentioned some good examples and actions and their achievements and positive impacts, such as legal reforms, National Plans of Action and law enforcement. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board had taken various steps to inform tourists entering Sri Lanka of the zero tolerance of his country to child abuse, and that every case would immediately be reported to police and dealt with according to the law. Report of Mr. Ramanujam

17. On behalf of France, Ms. Jacqueline de Rey, UFTAA Honorary Chairperson and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Task Force, started congratulating the initiatives taken by Sri Lanka to tackle the problem of sexual exploitation of children in tourism (SECT), which represented a perfect example of good practices in this field. She reported about the large consultation made in France to boost and enlarge the international campaign against SECT with the participation of many stakeholders such as the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Education, representatives of the French Police, Interpol, Europol, UFTAA, WTO, ECPAT and other institutions and NGOs involved in children?s welfare. The conclusions of this consultation, which were presented to the French Government, called for a mobilization against the problem not only by the tourism sector but by the whole French society, the strengthening of procedures to arrest abusers and a compulsory education and training for all expatriates through embassies, chambers of commerce and enterprises. Ms. De Rey also mentioned that a Watching Committee was being set up to ensure the sound follow-up of all these proposals.

18. From the NGOs point of view, Mr. Luc Ferran, Tourism Coordinator at ECPAT International, informed about measures taken by various national ECPAT groups around the world against sexual exploitation of children in tourism. In Costa Rica, an Information System was developed consisting of a database programme that allows the collection of information on victims and offenders. The objective of this project is to increase the overall efficiency of judicial process in tackling CSEC cases. Mr. Ferran further mentioned the on-going collaboration between ECPAT Germany, ECPAT Switzerland and Hotelplan, a Swiss tour operator implementing the Code of Conduct through several initiatives: after launching the Code, information was distributed to staff members and travelers, and various staff training sessions conducted. He also presented the fundraising and awareness activities jointly carried out between ECPAT and Accor hotels in Thailand, with prevention programmes being funded in the north of the country, and awareness-raising activities carried out in Bangkok (destination area). Presentation of Mr. Ferran

19. Ms. Treva Braun, Director of The Future Group, represented a Canadian-based NGO founded in 2000 dedicated to combating human trafficking and the child sex trade. She mentioned the major findings of the report “The Future of Southeast Asia: Challenges of Child Sex Slavery and Trafficking in Cambodia”. She presented the Responsible Tourism Campaign whose goals were to deter foreign paedophiles from exploiting children, to communicate existing laws prohibiting child sexual exploitation, and to encourage responsible tourists to report offenders and help enforce existing legislation. Ms. Braun also mentioned the support received by the tourism industry and the creation of the website http://www.youwillbecaught.com, where responsible tourists could report offences. Presentation of Ms. Braun

Next meeting

20. After thanking participants for their attention and contributions to the meeting, Dr. de Villiers announced that the sixteenth Task Force meeting was scheduled to take place at ITB Berlin, on 12 March 2005.

 


See also

  • Download a PDF of the Report of the 15th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism (London, 8 November 2004) (Please note that links to presentations are not accessible within this PDF)
Category
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Meeting
Related to: 
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Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme
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Event or Session: 
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14th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Location

ITB Tourism Fair Berlin
Germany
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
13 March 2004
Location: 
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E

Report of the fourteenth meeting of the
TASK FORCE
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

(ITB, Berlin, 13 March 2004)

Download a PDF of this report here (Please note that links to presentations within this PDF may not function properly)


1. The Task Force to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism held its fourteenth meeting in Berlin on 13 March 2004, as part of parallel events held during the ITB. The meeting was attended by over 90 delegates.

OPENING REMARKS

2. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Task Force, WTO Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Dawid de Villiers, opened the Task Force by welcoming participants from 38 governments, four intergovernmental organizations, nine international or regional industry associations, five national associations and companies, nine non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and three education institutions. He welcomed the excellent response to the meeting as an indicator of the growing importance of the Group’s work.

3. Dr. de Villiers reminded the open structure of the Task Force, a global network of representatives from governments, tourism industry and NGOs whose aim was to coordinate activities and share experiences in the field. He also mentioned the two regular sessions in Berlin (ITB) and in London (WTM) to which participants were invited every year to review the latest developments in the fight against this practice.

4. The Deputy Secretary-General finally informed participants about the change of status that the World Tourism Organization had undergone on 23 December 2003, date in which it became a specialized agency of the United Nations.

REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE TASK FORCE

5. Ms. Jacqueline de Rey, UFTAA Honorary Chairperson and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Task Force, reported on the ExCom’s meeting held on the previous day. More concretely, Ms. De Rey indicated that the Committee had noticed a considerably better response/attendance rate at the reporting sessions of the Task Force meetings in Berlin (ITB) than thematic sessions in London (WTM). For this reason, it had decided to slightly re-arrange the structure of the two annual Task Force meetings so as for both to include a reporting and thematic part. Task Force participants agreed on the proposal and later voted on the topic to be developed at the next meeting in London (8 November 2004), viz. the role of the travel media in the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

ELECTION FOR THE “OPEN SEAT” OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

6. Dr. de Villiers informed participants that the “Open Seat” on the Executive Committee of the Task Force was up for re-election. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which held the seat so far, was willing to serve on the Committee for a renewed term.

7. Following a call for nominations prior to the meeting, the international workers’ union IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations) submitted its candidature which, however, could not be considered eligible since IUF failed to meet one of the two basic requirements necessary to serve on the Committee (i.e., to have attended at least one Task Force meeting in the prior twelve months). IFJ was thus re-confirmed on the Committee for an additional term.

REPORT OF THE FIRST MEETING OF THE WORLD COMMITTEE ON TOURISM ETHICS

8. The process for the establishment of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, Dr. de Villiers explained, began shortly after the adoption, in 1999, of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism by the WTO General Assembly. Yet, it was not until the end of 2003 that the composition of the Committee could be agreed upon. The process only concluded in February this year with the election of the Chairman of the Committee by its Members gathered for the first time in Rome (25-26 February 2004).

9. At the same meeting in Rome, the Committee established its programme of work including such tasks as raising awareness on the importance of the Code, assessing the current degree of implementation of the Code, planning strategies to further enhance its implementation and setting up conciliation procedures for the settlement of possible disputes.

10. The Committee further recognized the importance of the work of the Task Force and designated Mr. Alain-Philippe Feutré (who was both member of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics and of the Executive Committee of the Task Force) to ensure the liaison between the two bodies and to regularly report work to the Task Force participants about the World Committee’s.

REPORT ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION-FUNDED PROJECTS FOR 2002/2003

11. Ms. Marina Diotallevi, Task Force Coordinator and WTO/EU-Project Manager, informed participants that the second phase of the EU-funded umbrella project carried out by the WTO and its four NGO partners in the framework of the International Campaign against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism, had concluded on 10 January 2004. She also indicated that no new funding was expected from the EU and that activities for the prevention of SECT would continue in the framework of the Task Force.

12. Ms. Diotallevi further reported on the outcome of the five inter-related projects carried out since April 2002 by WTO and its partners, i.e., the Family and Child Care Centre from Greece, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), terre des hommes-Germany, and the ECPAT/respect Group.

REPORTS ON ACTIONS/MEASURES TAKEN BY GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS

13. Mr. Amadou Ceesay, Director of Tourism Human Resources of The Gambia Tourism Authority, reported about the national response to child sex tourism (CST) and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in his country. In this context, he informed about the results of a research conducted by CPA and terre des hommes on the involvement of Dutch tourists in CST in the Gambia. He gave an overview of the replies to interviews featuring such questions as: Is CST really happening? How does CST take place? Where does CST take place? What are the conditions that make CST easy?. Mr. Ceesay also enumerated several national activities undertaken to eradicate sexual exploitation of children in tourism, including the adoption of the National Tourism Offences Act in 2002, as well as draw a picture expected future developments in terms of prevention, law reform, law enforcement, rehabilitation and research. Presentation of Mr. Ceesay

14. Mr. Ries Hartadi, Director of Multilateral Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia, presented the actions and measures taken in his country to combat the sexual exploitation of children in tourism (SECT). He started by giving an overview of the current situation where, according to the Indonesia Ministry of Social Affairs, the number of commercial sex workers in 2000-2001 was around 70,000, of whom 30% were prostituted children and 3-5% were younger than 15 years of age. A study carried out by CSDS (Center for Societal Development Studies of Atmajaya Catholic University) revealed that the initial age of entry into prostitution was as young as 10-12 years old. The same study also indicated that sex services were offered not only in government regulated establishments such as brothel complexes, but also in residential places, hotels, bars, restaurants, beauty parlors, escort services.

15. Mr. Hartadi later explained the scope of Indonesia’s National Plan of Action on Eradication of SECT and indicated that a campaign was launched as an integrated programme to this Plan. He also enumerated a series of complementary activities carried out in his country, including, among others, a live television talk show conducted on the topic of “Child exploitation in Art and Tourism” and several local seminars. Presentation of Mr. Hartadi

16. Ms. Paola Viero, Responsible for Child Programmes at the Central Technical Unit of the Development Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, showed a video spot financed by her country’s development cooperation as part of a bilateral project for the protection of children in the Dominican Republic, coordinated by UNICEF and with the expertise of ECPAT Italy.

17. Ms. María Elena Asuad, Public Policy Officer at UNICEF Santo Domingo followed up to Ms. Viero’s presentation by explaining the way of coordinating the fight against SECT in the Dominican Republic within an Inter-institutional Commission composed of 25 entities from the government and non-government sector, as well as from international organizations and civil society. She mentioned a poster campaign at airports (featuring Dominican law and related penalties for child abuse), and the use of WTO training module for tourism professionals for the training of 120 tourism professionals in three tourism destinations. Rehabilitation programmes had also been set up in two communities.

18. Mr. Johnny Bernal Franco from ASONAHORES, the National Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Dominican Republic, intervened in the joint Dominican presentation by expressing the support of his Association to the multilateral project and informed participants of the adoption of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism by his member establishments. He confirmed the commitment of the private sector in the Dominican Republic to take action in this field and its determination to continue doing so in the future, but indicated the need to receive some positive signs and messages from the country’s government.

19. Mr. Andrés Contreras Serrano, Deputy Director General for Cooperation and Tourism Coordination at the General Secretariat for Tourism of the Ministry of Economy of Spain, began his presentation by indicating that Spain was opposed to the term “child sex tourism” since the tourism industry not only did not benefit from this kind of exploitation, but that, on the contrary, this practice was opposed to the very nature of tourism. He further reported about the legal measures taken by his government to fight SECT, as well as about the 2001 Plan of Action and the national campaign whose forthcoming launch was being prepared by a working group composed of representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Development Cooperation), WTO, UNICEF, ECPAT, INTERPOL, the tourism industry and the airlines.

20. Ms. Charlotte Thouvard, Corporate Patronage of the hotel chain Accor, reported on new actions of the Group in cooperation with ECPAT, and on its perspectives for 2004. The Group started activities in Thailand in 2001 to raise awareness of hotel guests and employees about the problem of SECT, by means of poster campaigns and train-the-trainers programmes. In 2003, ACCOR signed the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children and organized fundraising activities to support education programmes for children in Northern Thailand. The awareness campaign was to be expanded from Thailand to Indonesia and Cambodia, as well as to France. Prevention actions were planned in Africa (Senegal) and pilot projects starting shortly in Mexico and Santo Domingo. Presentation of Ms. Thouvard

21. Ms. Helen Santiago Fink, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) informed participants about an Anti-Trafficking Programme being developed by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE on the Public-Private Co-operation in the Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings. Among the objectives of the programme was the intensification of cooperation with the private sector, including the tourism industry, to tackle this practice. The trafficking in human beings affected a large amount of children (approx. 65%, in Albania, 50% in Bulgaria, 45% in Moldova). OSCE intended to build upon best practices in the private sector, specifically on the Code of Conduct project, which would be further developed in close cooperation with the Austrian NGO respect. Presentation of Ms. Santiago Fink

22. Ms. Tine Staermose, Coordinator of the Vulnerable Groups Unit, at the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO), informed that 147 countries so far had ratified the ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182) which also included provisions on the commercial sexual exploitation of children. She gave two examples of tourism being a positive force against sexual exploitation and trafficking of human beings: (a) the Mekong project in Thailand which helped to open up new economic opportunities for hill tribe women and children; and (b) IPEC’s work since 1997 with trade unions in the hotel and tourism sector (NUHWRAIN) in the Philippines, which was funded by Japanese trade unions. She provided an overview on the Organization’s activities against SECT in various countries and regions in the world. Presentation of Ms. Staermose

23. Mr. Luc Ferran, Tourism Coordinator at ECPAT International, reported about the findings of a research his Organization commissioned on child sex tourism in tourism destinations of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The research was carried out by associated NGOs: SANLAAP (India North: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur), Equations (India South: Goa and Kerala), CWIN Nepal and the South Asia Partnership International (Sri Lanka) under the lead of expert Cristine Beddoe. Both similarities and differences were observed in the results of the 3 countries. In Nepal, CST was on the increase and often occurred without a third party intervention (direct contact between children and tourists).

24. In Sri Lanka, CST occurred in a very organized manner (Hikkaduwa) and in an independent manner (Galle); the age of victims varying from 6-16. Foreign offenders often targeted male victims, while domestic offenders female victims. In the Golden triangle in the North of India, CST was not as visible as in other tourism destinations, but was on the rise; in the South, in Goa, there was a well-established child sex industry while in Kerala CST occurred more in an ad hoc or irregular manner.

25. Mr. Ferran further reported on Code of Conduct activities to prevent CST and HIV/Aids in Kenya, carried out by respect Austria and Kenya Tourism Concern. A well-established tourism destination, Kenya had a growing rate of child prostitution (30,000 estimated victims of CSEC) and the highest prevalence of HIV/Aids in the world. The on-going project focused on training in schools and within the tourism industry, as well as on informing tourist in Austria and in Kenya about the problem. Presentation of Mr. Ferran

26. Ms. Sabine Minninger, a tourism student, carried out in cooperation with ECPAT Germany and Tourism Watch, a study on the implementation of the Code of Conduct by the German tourism industry. A total of 215 German tourists were interviewed at the Frankfurt airport on their way to South-East Asia, Brazil, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The research intended to assess the level of awareness on CST of the German tourists, their willingness to take initiatives by their own to prevent this practice and the measures that in their opinion should be taken by the tourism industry. The results of the study confirmed that 93% of the tourists were aware of the problem, mostly thanks to media reports (63%). However, 93% of respondents were not aware of the Code of Conduct (the travel agencies and tour operators had not provided information on it). 73% of them thought that tour operators should take initiatives to protect children from SECT and 77% thought it should be done by the hotels.

27. Mr. David Ford, Head of Sex Offenders and international issues, Criminal Law Police Unit, Home Office of the United Kingdom, explained some of the measures taken by the UK against child sex tourism. Mr. Ford first mentioned the coordination done in this field by a multi-sectoral group composed by all government departments (foreign affairs, interior and tourism), law enforcement agencies, NGOs and representatives of the travel industry.

28. As regards to national legislation, Mr. Ford explained that his country had adopted the dual criminality principle which enables to prosecute in the UK persons having committed child sex offences overseas. He further mentioned a new piece of legislation which would come into force on 1st May 2004, which would allow the UK to prohibit those persons prosecuted for child sex offences to leave the country, or to visit a particular region or country in the world. He draw the attention to the unique aspect of the UK legislation that required convicted sex offenders to inform police of their intention to travel overseas for a duration of 8 days and more (3 days as from 1st May 2004). The UK national criminal service could thus notify, through Interpol, the jurisdiction of the country to which the offender was traveling to, so as to allow the jurisdiction concerned either to refuse entry or to monitor the offender while in the country visited (e.g., through police surveillance).

29. Lastly, Mr. Ford informed participants that two pieces of research had been commissioned by the Home Office, the first of which to evaluate the type of messages to deter CST that were acceptable to the tourism industry and the second, to define the profile of the typical child sex offender, in order to develop a revised marketing campaign against CST with the tourism industry.

NEXT MEETING

30. The fifteenth Task Force meeting will take place in London in the afternoon of Monday, 8 November 2004 in connection with the World Travel Market.


See also

  • Download a PDF version of the Report of the 14th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism (Berlin, 13 March 2004) (Please note that links to presentations are not accessible within this PDF)
Category
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13th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Location

World Travel Market London
United Kingdom
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W
Approve event: 
No
10 November 2003
Location: 
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W

Report of the thirteenth meeting of the
TASK FORCE
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

(WTM, London, 10 November 2003)

Download a PDF of this report here

1. The Task Force for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism held its thirteenth meeting in London on 10 November 2003, as part of parallel events held during the World Travel Market (WTM 2003). The meeting, which was attended by almost 50 delegates, had as main subject "Legislation and Law Enforcement" for the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

2. The Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Dr. Dawid de Villiers opened the meeting by welcoming participants to the meeting to whom he recalled the role WTO was playing in the international campaign against sexual exploitation of children in tourism (SECT): to provide a forum at which the different tourism stakeholders (industry associations, governments, international organizations and NGOs) could meet to exchange ideas and share views on ways to prevent SECT, as well as to get the message through about the importance of tackling this problem worldwide. Only a few months ago, both President Bush and UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette had declared SECT as being a key issue which commands highest priority.

3. Dr. de Villiers continued by highlighting a few recent developments which took place since the last meeting in Berlin March 2003. He first informed about the transformation of the WTO into a fully-fledged specialized agency of the United Nations, which represents the recognition of the importance of tourism. This is significant for the understanding of the power of tourism which can be a better harness for dealing with major challenges, such as poverty, the role of women and children, the protection of the environment, etc.

4. He further announced the establishment of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics at the last WTO General Assembly in Beijing (October 2003), as a logical outcome after the adoption of the Global Code of Ethics in 1999, which has achieved international status with its recognition by the United Nations. The Code is a motivation to see that tourism is not only about profits, but also about people and society. To become a "living" instrument, the Code provides for a World Committee of experts in tourism and other disciplines, whose task will be monitoring the advancement and the implementation of the principles of the Code by governments and the private sector. The World Committee will hold its first meeting at the beginning of next year under its new Chairman, Mr. Diego Cordovez, a former UN Deputy Secretary-General and well-known international diplomat. Dr. de Villiers also informed that Ms. Marina Diotallevi, current coordinator of the Task Force, has also been entrusted with the Secretariat of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics.

5. As third last point on developments, Dr. de Villiers mentioned the ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty) initiative which received the full support of the WTO General Assembly. A foundation will soon be established which will also feature a strong academic component, tapping from research already existing in the field of poverty alleviation. A number of education institutions, including the WTO Education Council, have agreed to collaborate to bring about various proposals to make tourism more sensitive to the needs of rural and poor communities, and micro-projects viable.

6. To conclude, Dr de Villiers informed participants about the decisions taken by the Executive Committee of the Task Force at its meeting held the previous day, which are the following:

(a) to increase the number of the Executive Committee members by opening a seat for the hospitality industry to be held by Mr. Alain Philippe Feutré, Chief executive Officer of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA);
(b) to invite Ms. Lyndall De Marco, executive Director of the Youth Career Initiative at the International Business Leaders Forum (ITBL) to join the Executive Committee as Advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility;
(c) to replace the representative of the WTO Quality Support Committee to the Executive Committee of the Task Force by a representative of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics; and
(d) to explore ways to work closer with a number of international organizations, such as UNICEF, within the Task Force and in possible projects in this field.

7. Ms Marina Diotallevi, Task Force Coordinator, gave an update on the international campaign against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism and on the EU-funded projects in this field. She informed participants that the second phase (2002-2003) of this umbrella project carried out by WTO and its four NGO partners was finalizing at the beginning of January 2004, and that, at this stage, no new funding was expected from the European Commission due to the elimination of the budget line on which the current financial backing of the project was based. Alternative funding sources are being explored by WTO, which remains committed to pursue in any case its activities against SECT within the Task Force.

8. Among the various project activities carried out so far, the Task Force Coordinator mentioned the four WTO regional consultations (Costa Rica, Indonesia, Italy and Senegal) which took place in 2003, aimed at mobilising national tourism administrations and the industry sector to combat practices of SECT and to train their tourism professionals in this field. Special mention was made of the last, very successful African consultation which concluded with the adoption of the Dakar Declaration on the Protection of Children. She further informed participants about the pilot testing of the WTO training modules against SECT (for tourism professionals and for young people) which was taking place or was planned in France, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco and Senegal, as well as of upgrade of the WTO website "Child prostitution in Tourism Watch".

9. As for the four NGO project partners, (a) the Family and Child Care Centre (FCCC) has distributed information brochures against SECT directly to tourists in international airports of Athens, Crete and Salonica in Greece and of Larnaka and Pafos in Cyprus; (b) Terre des hommes Germany has finalised the production of a thirty-second information spot called "Words" targeting young people and was screening it free of charge in eight TV channels in Germany and Italy; (c) the International federation of Journalists (IFJ) has developed a training module for journalists on how to report on child rights, in particular on child sex tourism, and has held workshops in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka in Asia, and in Uruguay and Venezuela in the Americas; and the ECPAT/respect group (Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK) has been lobbying the tourism industry of their respective countries for the adoption of the Code of Conduct for the travel and tourism industry which has led to the signing of the Code by 43 tour operators and 3 hotel chains in 13 countries, both receiving and sending. The Code of Conduct has received the British Airways "Tourism for Tomorrow" 2003 Award as winner of the "Large Scale Tourism" category. The official launching of the Code of Conduct in the USA is planned to take place in April 2004 at the UNICEF Headquarters.

LEGISLATION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR THE PREVENTION OF SECT
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK

10. Ms Muireann O'Briain, Legal Advisor to ECPAT International, tried to guide participants through the legislative environment to combat SECT by starting to describe international instruments imposing legal obligations on states, such as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and particularly the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocol, the latter expressing concern at the spread of child sex tourism and requiring states to provide severe penalties to punish these offences, to establish extra-territorial jurisdiction for prosecuting offences committed abroad, and to allow for extradition of their nationals. Other important international instruments are the International Labour Office Convention 182 to eliminate worst forms of child labour, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and Trafficking Protocol, which requires states to tackle trafficking of women and children for purposes of exploitation.

11. Ms O'Briain also mentioned the political commitments in relation to SECT made outside of the UN: in 1996, 122 governments got together in Stockholm with NGOs and international institutions and signed the Agenda for Action against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, in which child sex tourism was highlighted for the first time as a political issue. In 2001, 159 governments reaffirmed this global commitment in Yokohama, Japan, along with NGOs and international institutions, such as ILO-IPEC, UNAIDS, UNESCAP, UNICEF, WHO and WTO/OMT, and, above all, the private sector whose "comprehensive, systematic and sustained involvement" has been recognized, through the workers' and employers' trade union organizations, members of the travel and tourism industry (airlines, hotels, tour operators and travel agencies, etc.) and the communications industry (e.g, internet service providers).

12. The Agenda for Action requires action at all levels, local, national, regional and international, and covers prevention, protection, recovery and reintegration. In the case of child sex tourism, the commitment specifically requires all the partners to develop, strengthen and implement laws to criminalize acts of nationals in countries of destination; to promote extradition to ensure prosecution in countries of origin or destination; and to strengthen law enforcement, including seizure of assets (in some countries, assets seized from businesses which have offended against children are being used to fund programmes for children).

13. According to Ms. O'Briain, with regard to sending countries, the following results have been achieved so far: the harmonisation of legislation and penalties in Europe, the prosecution without the complaint of the victim (the Netherlands), the prohibition on advertising of sex tourism especially if related to children, the requirement for tour operators to advertise on their travel literature that SECT is a crime (Italy), the holding of businesses responsible for offences involving sexual exploitation of children (by not keeping proper control over employees or by allowing the abuse to take place in the hotel premises), the criminalising the person attempting to buy sex with a child, the obligation for registered child sex offenders to notify police if they travel abroad (UK), etc. Both Australia and Italy were mentioned among sending countries, as good examples of national legislation against SECT.

14. As for receiving/destination countries, Ms O'Briain listed as important achievements: the improvement of legislation for child protection, including more severe penalties for exploiters and the protection of both girls and boys, the liability of tourist venues (resorts and hotels) for allowing local children in the rooms, the public identification of offenders, and the increased number of prosecutions of foreigners. However, Ms O'Briain also mentioned the weak points in destination countries as being: the lack of adequate legislation and of police training and resources, the low level of law enforcement and the corruption among officials, low ages of protection (under 18 years of age) and failure to tackle local abusers (which represent the major percentage of child offenders). Among receiving countries, Brazil, the Gambia and Thailand were pointed out as best examples of legislation against SECT. Ms. O’Briain’s power point presentation is attached to this report.

ON-LINE LEGAL RESEARCH TOOL

15. Ms. Kathryn Devereux, a Business Lawyer and English barrister who collaborates with the Task Force, presented structure and content of the legal tool which will be hosted in January 2004 in the Task Force website "Child Prostitution in Tourism Watch". Ms Devereux explained the different categories of legal instruments related to human rights which will be featured on the site, grouped under international, European Union, European and national, for the latter also identifying extra-territoriality provisions. She further described the various jurisdictions before which states, institutions or individuals could bring claims related to the sexual exploitation of children.

15. With regard to national legislation, Ms. Devereux provided an example of laws existing in the United Kingdom, by mentioning the Sex Offenders Act of 1997, which had recently been amended by the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of 2000, and the Children Act of 1989. The United Kingdom had an unusual situation where the National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children, as a registered charity, had statutory authority to act. As EU Member State, the UK is obviously signatory of a number of EU treaties, such the Convention on Cybercrime, as well as of international treaties which can be found under the other relevant categories.

16. By end of January 2004, information sections on international, European Union and general European treaties should be available on the WTO website accessible through links into the sites which already host these instruments. National laws, at least from the European Union countries, will be posted no later than April 2004. Ms. Devereux’s power point presentation is attached to this report.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

17. Mr. Hamish McCulloch, Assistant Director for Trafficking in Human Beings at INTERPOL, is a UK police officer who has been seconded to the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyons. Mr McCulloch was Head of the Child Protection Unit in the UK police before joining INTERPOL, where he is now part of the Specialist Group on Crimes against Children, within Trafficking of Human Beings Department. This Group met for the first time in 1993, with initially 11 countries participating which, over the years, increased to over 40 countries and more than 100 participants. The Group works around four theme areas, which are: (a) missing and trafficking in children; (b) child prostitution and sex tourism; (c) child pornography; and (b) sex offender management. 18. Missing and trafficking in children, Mr McCulloch explained, mostly happen for labour and the sex industry. Developed countries tend to recognize recipients of children that are trafficked. However, in poor countries, e.g. in Western Africa, where children are trafficked from one country to another, legally the police has the competence to look for children on a national basis. Yet, policing on a national basis creates a number of problems, due to either the non-existence of laws or the different features and coverage of legislation. The main reasoning for INTERPOL to exist is to harmonize police investigations, to facilitate the exchange of information and to exchange best practices

19. Child pornography, means images of sexual abuse of children, which often is minimized by using the term of “kiddy porn”. It started to appear in the 1980s when the internet became available to the general public. Through the investigation of the Specialist Group of Interpol, several operations could be successfully carried out which led to prosecutions in various countries, including the USA, Canada and the UK.
20. Sex Offender Management, is an issue introduced in 1997 in accordance with the UK Sex Offenders Act, which imposes a registration requirement for convicted sex offenders. Similar legislation also exists Ireland and in several US states. Sex offender management aims to control and prevent abuse of children by measuring and assessing the risk of repeat offences.

21. Under Child prostitution and sex tourism, a new project was introduced which aimed at ensuring that children are protected from sexual abuse by collating information on abusers and making it available through the Interpol General Secretariat (IPSG) to police in specific regions. An Interpol Criminal Intelligence System (ICIS) database is held on persons convicted of crimes against children and its accessibility is being increased to reach more law enforcement officers, which can be accessed through an Internet communication system, the I-24/7, which provides a user friendly drop down menu for the dash board featuring complete information on known and suspected abusers. Concerning victim identification, Mr. McCulloch provided an interesting practical, step-by-step explanation on how young sex abuse victims appearing on images could be identified through victim identification workshops. A more detailed description of the project “children” is given in Mr. McCulloch’s power point presentation attached to this report.

22. During the questions and answers, Mr. Lucio d’Amore, National Expert at the Tourism Unit of the European Commission, took the floor to announce that, even if the budget line for child sex tourism had disappeared, the EC action on this issue is not finished since there were still 25 ongoing projects within the initiative for democracy and human rights. He also said that on 20 October this year, the European Council adopted a resolution on the initiative on trafficking in human rights and that it reached a political agreement on the proposal for a decision establishing a second phase of the DAPHNE programme, concerning the prevention and fighting of violence against children young people and women. EU Member States has agreed on the prolongation of this programme and for its funding with 50 million EUR in 5 years. Ms. Duni Jones, from the African Tourism Organization, took the floor to recall the role of the UN Special Representative for Children which was not mentioned by any of the speakers.

Next meeting

23. Ms. Marina Diotallevi concluded the meeting by thanking the three key-note speakers for their presentations and informed participants that the next Task Force meeting will be held in Berlin in the afternoon of 13 March 2004, in conjunction with the next year's edition of ITB. This next meeting will be an open reporting session, which will provide the opportunity to governments, the tourism industry, international agencies and non-governmental organizations to report on progress made and on new innovations and initiatives. National tourism administration of WTO Member and non-member States and well as industry partners are invited to make presentations on their respective actions against SECT.


See also

  • Download a PDF version of the Report of the 13th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism (London, 10 November 2003)
Category
Event type: 
Conference
Meeting
Related to: 
Protection of Children
Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme
Programme
UNWTO
Event or Session: 
This is a main event

12th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Location

ITB Tourism Fair Berlin
Germany
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
8 March 2003
Location: 
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E

Report of the twenty-fifth meeting of the
TASK FORCE
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

(ITB, Berlin, Germany, 8 March 2003)

Download a PDF of this report here

1. The Task Force for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism held its twelfth meeting in Berlin on 8 March 2003, as part of parallel events held during the ITB. The meeting was attended by over 70 delegates.

Opening Remarks

2. The Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Dr. Dawid de Villiers, opened the Task Force by welcoming participants from 23 governments, ten international organizations, ten industry associations, and 12 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He welcomed the increase over the years of participants to the Task Force, as an indicator of the importance of its work.

3. Dr. de Villiers spoke briefly about the current situation of world tourism, especially in the light of recent fears of war and terrorist attacks. He described a picture that, although mixed, indicated positive signs in certain countries in Asia, such as some evidence of recovery shown by the industry in Bali. Medium and long-term prospects for tourism are good and tourism remains one of the driving forces for economic development in the next few decades.

4. Tourism is a major factor in poverty alleviation, notably in developing countries, and a significant contributor of job creation and foreign currency earnings. WTO has launched an initiative, called STEP (Sustainable Tourism for the Elimination of Poverty), with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to create a statutory structure that will coordinate research in the field of poverty and provide funding for small and medium size initiatives at the grass root level to build up the tourism industry in developing countries.

5. Dr. de Villiers further informed participants that the upcoming UN General Assembly is expected to see the completion of the transformation process of the WTO into a UN specialized agency. This is a major development which -along with other developments, such as the UN implementation of the WTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, through the appointment of a World Committee now being selected in the regions- will contribute to the strengthening of the work of the Task Force.

6. Dr. de Villiers welcomed the participation in the meeting of Mr. Reinhard Klein, Head of the Tourism Unit of the European Union, who was instrumental in mobilizing a grant of one million Euros for the first phase of a project which included the implementation of a series of awareness raising actions against SECT. The project has been followed up with a grant from the EuropeAid Cooperation Office of the European Commission, whose representative, Ms. Irene Corcillo, he also welcomed.

7. Finally, the WTO Deputy Secretary-General informed participants that in its meeting of the previous day, the Executive Committee exchanged views about the need for progress on projects relating to increasing the number of airlines showing in- flight videos addressing SECT on board their planes. Suggestions have been made, including from the representative from IATA, that greater success may be achieved if a video was produced, coordinated by the WTO Task Force, and then approaches made to airline passenger distribution services in order to convince them to air the spot. The WTO will like to follow this strategy and then explore ways for funding such an endeavour.

Election/Renewal of Tourism Industry Seat in the Executive Committee

8. Dr. De Villiers informed participants that the “Industry Seat” on the Executive Committee of the Task Force was up for re-election. The three-year term corresponding to a tourism industry representative was held so far by Ms Jacqueline de Rey, Honorary President of the United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA).

9. Following the call for nominations made prior to the meeting, UFTAA submitted a new nomination for its outgoing representative Ms. De Rey, nomination which was supported by the representative of IATA. In the absence of other nominations, Ms. Jacqueline de Rey was re-elected Representative of the Tourism Industry at the Executive Committee of the Task Force until ITB Berlin 2006.

Progress Report of the European Union-funded projects for 2002-2003
A. Report by the World Tourism Organization (WTO)

10. Ms. Marina Diotallevi, WTO/EU Project Manager and Coordinator of the Task Force, informed participants about the second grant agreement signed last year between the WTO and the EU, by which the WTO and four NGO partners committed themselves to carry out, under the International Campaign against the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism (SECT), a series of interrelated projects co-funded by the EU. The projects are designed to raise and maintain awareness worldwide on this global problem, which not only affects the most vulnerable groups of the population, but can also destroy the image of a tourism destination if not properly handled. These projects focus on building capacity among the tourism sectors, both public and private, as well as among travellers, so that they are ready to react if confronted with cases of SECT.

11. Among WTO’s part of the activities for the project is the organization of four regional consultations to provide appropriate platforms for discussion and interaction for national tourism administrations and other government bodies, law enforcement agencies, travel and tourism industries, NGOs, the media and other tourism stakeholders. The main objective of these consultations is to review and propose measures to tackle SECT from a regional perspective and to allow for efficient cooperation between, regional, national and local partners. Discussion topics at these regional consultations will include common government and policy strategies, legislation and law enforcement, training and education programmes for tourism professionals and for young people (aged 12-16) and best practices. The consultations will be held throughout 2003: the consultation for Europe will be he ld in Rome, Italy, on 3-4 April; for the Americas, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on 7-8 May (changed from previously announced date of 4-5 May); for Asia in Bali, Indonesia, on 26-27 June; and finally, for Africa in Dakar, Senegal, on 29-30 September. WTO invites and encourages all representatives from the government, the tourism industry and from NGOs who have taken specific measures to combat SECT to participate and share initiatives at these consultations.

B. Reports by Project Partners: ECPAT, FCCC, IFJ and TDH

12. On behalf of the ECPAT Group, Ms Camelia Tepelus, Steering Committee Secretariat of the Code of Conduct, provided an overview of the project carried out by the six ECPAT partners, from Austria (Respect), Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, who work together with TOs in their home countries to promote the adoption of the Code of Conduct (CC) for the tourism industry. Achievements so far include the commitment by 19 large European Tour Operators (TOs) to the implementation of the Code and an agreement by 23 members to a Tour Operators Initiative for sustainable tourist development.

13. The CC refers to the implementation of six precise criteria, which are considered as having an impact on the supply chain of TO’s activities, with the ultimate goal of reducing the exploitation of children at destinations. These criteria are: (a) the establishment and promotion of a corporate policy against SECT at destinations and at HQ; (b) the provision of training for staff on SECT, as part of regular service quality training for staff at HQ, at management level and at destinations; (c) the provision of information to tourists about the occurrence of SECT and what they can do to avoid its occurrence and how to report it; (d) agreements governing the relationship between TOs and suppliers (hotels, travel agents, etc) through the inclusion of clauses in contracts between them that acknowledge that both partners reject SECT and repudiate any connection or support for activities related to it on their premises; (e) accountability of TOs to implement CC with need to report back to ECPAT on an annual basis about their initiatives.

14. An International Steering Committee was set up two years ago, as a multi stakeholder committee composed of international organizations (such as the WTO, Interpol, ECPAT International), national tourism organization (from Brazil and Thailand), and a number of tourism associations. Projects have focused on actions carried out in Southeast Asia, which include the ECPAT Sweden project in Goa, India, on awareness raising activities with TOs; the Respect Austria and ECPAT Germany projects in Thailand; the ECPAT Italy project in the Dominican Republic on training local representatives of the tourism sector; the ACCOR agreement with ECPAT International; and the establishment of national versions of CC in Costa Rica and Brazil in collaboration with their tourism industries.

15. ECPAT looks forward to working with other stakeholders in order to continue the project. As SECT is a phenomenon related to different aspects of tourism, actions against SECT should be integrated into the broader context of sustainable tourism development initiatives, which take into account the social, economic, ecological and environmental impacts of tourism.

16. Mr. Oliver Money-Kyrle, Director of Projects, International Federation of Journalists, provided an overview of the work done by his Federation -which represents national journalist organizations, associations and unions in the world- to promote professional standards of journalism. IFJ commenced involvement in children’s issues about five or six years ago, initially with the development of guidelines for media on how to cover and improve the quality of the coverage of children’s issues by avoiding sensational or exploitative reporting. It has developed guidelines for journalists, less to provide a strict set of rules, than to offer a framework for them to debate and discuss ethical dilemmas, such as balancing freedom of expression aga inst the right of the child, or balancing the rights of child with public interest.

17. Initial guidelines were established in 1998 and formally adopted by IFJ members in 2001. IFJ has been involved in the first phase of European Union-funded project, through the development of a Handbook for journalists and media professionals and for NGOs. During this second phase of the project, IFJ is developing regional versions of the handbook through the conduct of regional surveys in South and Southeast Asia and in Latin America; developing case studies, especially on child prostitution; and trying to understand the quality of media coverage by obtaining the assessment from local journalists of the current situation regarding coverage of children’s issues. This part of the project is almost completed and IFJ is now focusing on the organization of meetings and journalist training workshops.

18. Workshops have already been held in Sri Lanka and Cambodia and there will be regional meetings in Thailand in June and a workshop in India, followed by two workshops in Cambodia in June. The aim of the workshops is to promote and discuss the guidelines, including dilemmas journalists face in the newsroom, to raise awareness of the campaign, and also to examine the general background to the issue, including its economic and social aspects, such as the situation of crime and corruption, that may lead to child prostitution. There is also discussion of more positive aspects of the issue of coverage, such as how to provide positive images of children, for example, by not always portraying them as victims.

19. IFJ is pleased that the campaign has led to further the development of training material and to organize spin-off events, with support from such organizations as UNESCO. IFJ has increasingly incorporated the issue into general training programmes and mainstream the question of child rights by journalists.

20. Ms. Marcia Waldron, WTO/EU Project Coordinator, provided an overview of project activities implemented by two non-governmental organizations, the Family and Child Care Centre (FCCC) in Greece, and Terre des Hommes (TDH) in Germany.

21. FCCC’s part of the project aims to raise awareness of tourists to the problem of SECT through direct dissemination of information to tourists at selected airports. Preparatory work included discussions with authorities and staff from the National Tourism Organization in Greece, as well as with the public relations department of airport authorities; translation of campaign material received from WTO into Greek and publishing of posters and brochures for distribution. The distribution of the information material to tourists at departure and arrival points of airports in Greece and Cyprus was done in December 2002 over a two-week period. Information desks were set up initially for the month of December only. However, permission was then granted by airport authorities to display the material for an indefinite period. The airports concerned are Athens and Salonica, in Greece, and Larnaka and Pafos, in Cyprus. Negotiations with Turkish airports are still under way.

22. TDH’s project activities intend to raise awareness among youth and young adults, an often neglected group in the battle against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. This segment of the population is an important group and comprise a large portion of long-distance tourists who are often confronted with the problem of sexual exploitation of children. TDH produced a 30-second information spot to be shown on youth-oriented TV programs, such as MTV in Italy, Germany and Denmark, and hopefully also in Switzerland, Spain and France. The spot will be premiered at a press conference and available to the public at the end of March or in April. Ongoing media relations round out the project, which includes the existing Internet platform www.child-hood.com

23. A writing competition for young journalists in three countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy) completed the project of TDH. Competition entrants wrote about child rights and SECT. Winners received research trips to Asian countries: the German winner flew to the Philippines, the Danish winner travelled to India and the Italian winner went to Bangladesh. Summaries and publications of the respective travel reports will be published. Selection of theme for the next special session of the Task Force in London.

24. Ms. Cynthia Messer, Executive Director and Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Tourism Center and Academic Advisor to the Task Force, informed participants that a vote would be held to select the theme for the next special session of the Task Force to be held in London in November during the World Travel Market 2003. The Executive Committee proposes the two following options: (a) the role of the business travellers in SECT: this category represents a segment of the travel and tourism industry that needs to be focused on; it would include not just those who travel by air, but also truck drivers and the army personnel; (b) legislation and law enforcement issues related to SECT: this would involve looking into legislation, such as extra-territoriality and local laws, involvement with industry, the role of Interpol and law enforcement issues. These aspects can be examined through case studies from destination and sending countries.

25. Task Force participants, by a show of hands, voted for second option, legislation and law enforcement.

New Communication and Training Tools

26. Ms Sendrine Fabié, in charge of the Tourism Desk at ECPAT International, stated that tourism has contributed to development, but there is still a lot of work to do to achieve a more sustainable development of tourism. Although poverty is a major factor for the commercial sexual exploitation of children, it is not the only one. It does not just occur in poor countries, but exists in developed countries as well. It is fed by both domestic and international tourism. We need to recognize, raise awareness and talk about the problem.

27. Ms. Fabié presented the new CD Rom of ECPAT International that compiles, in one format, 200 documents produced by various organizations, industry associations and governments aiming to prevent SECT. Documents can be accessed by various categories, by country, by language, etc. Those interested, can obtain a copy from ECPAT International. For copyright purposes, the organizations that produced the documents should be contacted directly in order to request their authorization for reproduction. ECPAT is creating a website, now close to completion, to make this tool more interactive. Documents can be sent in for inclusion on the website.

28. Ms. Marina Diotallevi provided a brief overview of the training video produced by Ms. Chris Beddoe of Child Wise Australia, with the sponsorship of the WTO. Although initially meant to complement the Child Wise Tourism Training Program, this 19-minute video can be used to accompany any training workshop or seminar on SECT. Those who are interested in obtaining a copy of the video can contact Child Wise in Australia. “Parcours civique”, French civics education project on how to become a responsible traveller.

29. Ms. Jacqueline de Rey, Honorary President of UFTAA and Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the Task Force, presented a report on a civic education programme in France aimed at raising awareness of SECT among primary school children. The basis for the programme is recognition of the problem of sexual exploitation of children in tourism, with the conviction that the problem must be addressed through early civic education of children. The programme, scheduled to commence in French schools in September, will form part of a weekly course, parcours civique, which deals with the abuse of children generally. Implicit in this project is the idea of the need for learning about all forms of respect: respect of nature, respect of monuments, respect for others, and by extension, respect for oneself.

30. The programme will cover aspects on how to become a responsible tourist and traveller. The 8-14 age group is an ideal group for imparting such an education, since it is a category of the population which is most receptive to new ideas, and can easily get involved and act. Today’s children will travel more in the future than other generations, as travel becomes more and more accessible.

Reports by Task Force participants

31. Ms. Rosa Marta Brown, President of FIASEET, informed participants about the new campaign that has been carried out in Mexico, with the result of an increased recognition of problem of exploitation of children, child pornography and trafficking. A video information spot was presented as part of the Mexican public information campaign, which commenced in January 2002, with a second and a third phase launched in July and December 2002, respectively. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the existence of child prostitution and pornography by means of an emergency hotline, and encourages the reporting of incidence of sexual exploitation of children, encouraged by the slogan “open your eyes, but please do not close your mouth”.

32. With the assistance of UNICEF and ILO-IPEC, there has been the development of a brochure (3 million printed), which provides information on different types of commercial exploitation of children, including SECT. These brochures were distributed to passengers travelling by bus between December 2002 and January 2003. An evaluation of the project impact was carried out through a poll conducted among the public, with the result that 96 per cent of those polled recalled the material.

32. It is estimated that approximately 16,000 children are involved in CSEC in Mexico. Poverty is a causal factor, but there are regional variations to patterns of child prostitution, such as differences between border areas and beaches. Abuse occurs through both domestic and international travellers and tourists. Continuous work to address the issue has made a difference in Mexico, as the government and society now recognize the existence of the problem of child prostitution and pornography. New positive developments have occurred, such as police manning the Internet for child pornography.

33. Ms. Lotta Sand, Manager of Market Research, TUI Nordic, presented a five-minute inflight video on responsible tourism produced by her company. The video provides information to tourists about SECT, as well as other aspects of responsible tourism, such as respect for the environment and for cultural heritage. It was designed in collaboration with the World Wild Life Federation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

34. TUI Nordic developed this spot on the basis of an evaluation carried out on customer reactions to an earlier in- flight spot developed by Austrian Airlines. TUI Nordic produced the video in order to provide a more adequate context on SECT to its customers, ensuring that it is presented within a framework of responsible tourism development. The spot will be shown on the TUI Nordic charter airline, Britannia, which serves 60 per cent of the 1.5 million tourist packages arranged every year.

35. TUI has worked on the issue of SECT since 1998, and recently it has carried out with ECPAT Sweden a survey to measure awareness of the Swedish public on CSEC. Among the results, the survey shows that awareness of the existence of CSEC is high and has increased over the last few years. It is perceived as occurring not only in developing countries, but also in Sweden. Results also show an absence of consensus as to the age at which a child becomes an adult. Countries primarily associated with CSEC are Thailand and the Philippines, followed by Russia and Eastern Europe. Poverty is considered to be the prime cause of CSEC. The most disturbing result of the survey is the perception that a reason for the occurrence of CSEC is a more allowable climate in countries that have a tradition of accepting sex with minors. This last view indicates that customers from sending countries may be more accepting of sex with children when abroad, and may not perceive it as as bad as when carried out with children in one’s home country. Reasons for the increase of CSEC include the increase in use of the Internet and child pornography, social and cultural focus on sex, psycho-social problems and immigration.

Other Matters
36. Three existing in- flight videos -by Air France, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines- were shown to the audience.

General Discussion and Questions

37. Throughout the meeting, Task Force participants raised a number of points:

38. Mr. Reinhard Klein, Head of Tourism Unit of the European Commission, stated that it is important to include participation in regional conferences of those who are not necessarily from the same region, especially tour operators (TOs) from sending countries, to share experiences. This is important for two reasons: firstly, to further raise awareness of TOs regarding the specific conditions in the destinations; and secondly, for those in the destinations, to be aware of where there might be limits or, in a positive sense, particular approaches to be followed that can benefit from the support of the companies from sending countries.

39. Dr. Reinhard Klein further argued in favour of the need to broaden the scope of the Task Force activities and of the actions taken in the field of tourism: the issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) should be closely linked to the sexual exploitation of children in tourism (SECT). WTO should encourage collaboration with UNICEF, as well as with international NGOs, such as ECPAT International and Terre des Hommes, and propose a joint strategy over a 5-year-period to combat this global phenomenon. A joint project in these lines would be extremely efficient to protect children from exploitation worldwide.

40. Mr. Theo Noten, ECPAT Netherlands reiterated the need to invite participants from sending countries to regional consultations, and it would be informative to know if any have been invited and what positions they hold. Ms. Diotallevi responded that so far, WTO had sent out invitations to a broad spectrum of invitees, including governments, tourism industry representatives, INTERPOL agents in the different countries, NGOs. Mr. Noten requested a list of those invited from the Netherlands and Dr. de Villiers noted this request, with Ms. Diotallevi stating that the list of invitations could still be expanded and welcomed suggestions.

41. Mr. Martin Nureku, Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourist Board, requested a description of the profile of child sex abusers in order to sensitise TOs and hoteliers. Ms. Fabié from ECPAT International responded that child sex tourists have no particular profile, they come from various walks of life, and from all nationalities. A distinction must be made between situational child sex abusers who seize opportunities encountered while abroad, and paedophiles who are persons especially looking for sex with young children. Dr. De Villiers affirmed however that hotels must clearly inform visitors of the severe penalties for participating in this practice.

42. Mr. Anis Ahmad Bajwa, Managing Director, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, urged a focus on domestic tourism as opposed to international tourism. In the case of Pakistan there is more of child sex tourism related to domestic travellers, and thus the need to create awareness among and address domestic tourists. Unfortunately, this practice is too often accepted. Merely having laws will not adequately tackle the problem. Factors as taboos, may prevent the reporting of incidences. What can be done to combat this type of child sex tourism? Dr. de Villiers responded that this issue needed to be addressed in partnerships with countries and with the assistance of local NGOs in order to create a climate of awareness. WTO provides guidelines, training programmes and best practices, but governments must solve the problem.

43. Ms. Lyndall de Marco, Executive Director, Youth Career Initiative, Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, stated that as the child is the victim, we need to have a campaign that targets children, so as to create awareness among them. Her organization has done this in Thailand.

44. Mr. Johnny Bernal Franco, President, National Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) said that in his country initially the problem was ignored. With help of UNICEF, a Code of Conduct -based on the CC from Italy- is being finalized and will be applied to local context. His organization has also worked with ECPAT and UNICEF on the promotion of the campaign at airports and with the media, as well as with the hotel industry. The root cause of this problem is poverty. There are sufficient laws to address this issue, but poverty appears to be the causal factor. There remains, however, the need for our government to develop the will to address the issue through the application of the laws.

45. Ms. Bridget Katsriku, Chief Director, Ministry of Tourism, Ghana, urged the need for technical assistance for her country to uncover, through a study, the extent of the problem. Dr. De Villiers stated that WTO is not a funding organization and has no funds to provide technical assistance, but other agencies, such as UNDP, could perhaps provide this assistance. Ms. Fabié said that ECPAT has affiliates in Africa that can provide technical assistance for conducting research, although no financing can be provided.

46. Mr. Israel Tsir Cohen, Director of Legal Services, Ministry of Tourism, Israel, asked for a definition of child, and Ms. Fabié responded that under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, a child is considered any person under 18 years of age.

47. Mr. Jim Power, Secretary General of SKAL, argued that poverty is a cause of this problem and as long as developed nations pour money into other areas, such as fighting terrorism, and not to alleviating poverty the problem will continue. Should not the Task Force be widened to take this into account? Dr. de Villiers affirmed that WTO promotes tourism not just for the economic benefit, but recognizes the social and environmental aspects of its development. WTO may consider stretching the resources of the Task Force to widen the scope to address poverty.

48. Mr. Johnny Bernal Franco, from ASONAHORES, stated that the World Bank, IMF and the Inter-American Development Bank have a high degree of involvement in poor countries and must devise incentive programs for countries that show a will to combat this problem. Dr. de Villiers affirmed that all governments and international organizations of this world recognize poverty. It is linked to other issues, such as health and the environment. Tourism can make a financial contribution to the alleviation of poverty, and is a major force for job creation. The private sector needs to invest in the infrastructure in order to develop it.

Next meeting
49. The thirteenth Task Force meeting will take place in London on 10 November 2003 in connection with the World Travel Market.

 


See also

  • Download a PDF version of the Report of the 12th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism (Berlin, 8 March 2003)
Category
Event type: 
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Protection of Children
Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme
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UNWTO
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This is a main event

17th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Location

World Travel Market (WTM) London
United Kingdom
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W
Approve event: 
No
14 November 2005
Location: 
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W

Report of the seventeenth meeting of the
TASK FORCE
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM

(WTM, London, 14 November 2005)

Download a PDF of this report here (Please note that links to presentations within this PDF may not function properly)


1. The Task Force to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism held its seventeenth meeting in London on 14 November 2005, as part of parallel events held during the World Travel Market (WTM 2005). The meeting, which was attended by over 60 delegates, featured a Special Session on Government Actions to Combat the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism (SECT).

Opening Remarks

2. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Task Force, UNWTO Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Dawid de Villiers, opened the Task Force meeting by welcoming participants from twenty governments, five intergovernmental organizations, eight international or regional industry associations, seven national associations and companies, ten non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and four education institutions.

3. The Chairman mentioned the growing awareness of the Task Force as an open forum to exchange ideas and provide information on activities carried out to prevent and fight against SECT. He underlined the remarkable progress in the strengthening of this network since its establishment in 1997, notably in the number of participants attending the two regular annual meetings and in the countries that had developed initiatives to address the problem.

4. Moreover, Dr. de Villiers presented the major findings of the UNWTO Survey on the Implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism based on the information collected from Member States and Affiliate Members. He mentioned that nearly three-quarters of respondents had already incorporated the principles of the Code into their legislative texts or had used them as a basis when establishing national laws, regulations or tourism development plans. He also pointed out that the Code had been widely disseminated to tourism stakeholders and also translated by 35 countries into their respective national or local languages. As an example of its international recognition, he made reference to the Geotourism Charter established by National Geographic which adhered to the principles embodied in the Global Code of Ethics.

5. Finally, the Chairman presented a simplified version of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism entitled The Responsible Tourist and Traveller drafted by the Task Force and adopted by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics at its last meeting held in Tunis on May 2005. The aim of this new document was to make tourists aware of the principles stated in the Code of Ethics, in an user-friendly manner. Dr. de Villiers also mentioned that it would be published as an attractive leaflet and distributed to the travelling public through travel agencies, accommodation establishments and others.

Special Session: Government Actions to Combat the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Tourism

6. Mr. Sidney Alves Costa, Head of Cabinet of the Ministry of Tourism Brazil, presented the “Sustainable Tourism and Childhood” programme whose main objective was to exchange previous experiences and best practices on protecting children from sexual exploitation in tourism (SECT). The celebration of a seminar on this topic in the framework of the First World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development in 2004 was one of the first steps. Other major outcomes were the implementation of an Action Plan and the development of a National Campaign called “Brazil. Love and protect it”, promoting a positive approach in key aspects such as the respect of national diversity, gender and sex issues, ethnic background and relationship between children and tourists. Mr. Alves Costa said that the respect of children’s rights was one of the main concerns of governments in the Americas, and that the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism held in 2005 the First Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities in Tourism of South America on the Prevention of SECT. At this meeting, participants agreed to establish a Regional Action Plan to promote cooperation in this field, as well as to create a regional Task Force to protect children following the example of the UNWTO International Task Force. Presentation of Mr. Alves Costa

7. Ms. Petra Cruz, Director for Europe of the State Secretariat for Tourism of the Dominican Republic, presented her country’s Campaign and National Plan of Action which included the design of an advertising campaign and the creation of an Inter-institutional Commission against the Commercial and Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Minors. The aim of this Commission is to propose, coordinate and promote measures against SECT that involve various tourism stakeholders and governmental bodies. She further gave an outline of the training programmes -based on the UNWTO Tourism Training Modules- which are addressed to tourism professionals and to staff of Dominican consulates and tourist boards in Europe. Some of the actions undertaken (viz. the publication of brochures and posters in different languages, and the distribution of tourist cards with warnings about the legal consequences of sexually exploiting minors) received technical and financial support from UNICEF, the Italian Foreign Ministry and the UNICEF German Committee. Finally, Ms. Cruz explained that the ads on TV and cinema as well as other training activities were supported at national level by the International Labour Organization and the Department of Labour of the United States. Presentation of Ms. Cruz

8. Ms. Diana Tamashiro, Domestic Tourism Manager of the Promotion Board of Peru (PROMPERU) reported on the National Campaign on Prevention of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth in Tourism carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. This project was supported by the Lombardia Region of Italy through the NGO CESVI, and by UNICEF which provided technical and financial assistance. She mentioned the training workshops held in Cusco, Trujillo and Iquitos aimed at local tourism students, hotel staff, travel agencies, guides, taxi and “mototaxi” drivers. A guide for suppliers of tourism services, “From Spectators to Actors”, and a trainer's guide were also published. The major actions of the campaign involved sensitising travellers through in-flight videos and disseminating brochures and posters to be displayed at airports and by travel agencies. Ms. Tamashiro also mentioned a regional initiative in Iquitos informing tourists, through ads, that the sexual exploitation of children is punishable by law. Presentation of Ms. Tamashiro

9. Mr. Prathap Ramanujam, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka, presented a project, supported by UNICEF, aimed at increasing community awareness in areas affected by Child Sex Tourism (CST), by means of ensuring that all tourists were aware of the tourism industry’s zero tolerance in this field. He reminded that it was also necessary to involve the private sector to play a proactive role and to bring in new policies, laws and regulations to combat this problem. Mr. Ramanujam mentioned that many District Child Protection Councils had been set up in tourist areas in order to improve the coordination and efforts with the police, social authorities, NGOs and other tourism stakeholders. He also reported on some actions that were being implemented, such as the preparation of modules on child rights to be made available to school students and the general public, also in Sinhala and Tamil language; the publishing of catalogues, brochures and advertisements against CST in different languages; and the development of an in-flight video and website. Finally, Mr. Ramanujam underlined that the Sri Lanka Tourist Board was committed to eradicate Child Sex Tourism in his country so that their children could live free from sexual abuse and exploitation. Report of Mr. Ramanujam

10. Ms. Anita Dodds, Tourism Programme Manager of Child Wise Australia, presented the ASEAN Regional Public Education Campaign which, with the support of the Australian Government, was being carried out jointly between the ten ASEAN Governments under the coordination of Child Wise Australia. She reminded that there had been 50 million visitor arrivals to the ASEAN region in 2004 representing the highest number of visitors on record, and that increasing tourism in these countries had always been matched with prevention and protection measures for children. Ms. Dodds also mentioned that the Australian Government action involved a wide range of ministries including AusAID -Agency for International Development-, Ministry of Justice and Customs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In this regard, she said, the AusAID had provided financial assistance to Child Wise to facilitate the Campaign, whose objectives were: (a) to mobilize responsible travellers and local citizens to report suspicious behaviour; (b) to deter child sex offenders, and (c) to create a culture of intolerance to child sexual abuse. Ms. Dodds recognized that some countries had taken small actions to raise public awareness at national level but, so far, there had not been joint efforts across the region to combat SECT.

11. A professional, social marketing company named Grey Worldwide, who had significant experience in behaviour change campaigns, was selected for the production of the campaign. Under the overarching theme “Sex with children is a crime”, it was agreed that the campaign would cover two different audiences: (a) seven destination countries, targeting to local citizens, responsible tourists, expatriates, tourism industry and brothel patrons and, (b) three sending countries, addressing potential offenders, family and friends of suspected offenders and general public. According to the intention of making the campaign actionable, this project also involved the development of several reporting hotlines and the dissemination of stickers and posters translated into local languages which were placed in hotel rooms, internet cafes and photo shops. Ms. Dodds concluded that the Regional Campaign represented a good example of a partnership between eleven countries speaking with one voice to protect the tourism industry and to protect children from sexual exploitation in tourism. Presentation of Ms. Dodds

12. Mr. Ignacio Angulo Ranz, Assistant Deputy Director General for Cooperation and Tourism Coordination of the General Secretariat for Tourism of Spain, presented the Campaign “Without Excuses” designed by UNICEF Spanish Committee with the financial support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and which was integrated in the National Action Plan against sexual commercial exploitation of children. He said that some of the actions included the organization of meetings with tour operators, airlines and other tourism stakeholders, the participation in professional training seminars, the display of inflight videos containing information on the campaign and the dissemination of a great number of posters, brochures and stickers. Mr. Angulo Ranz mentioned the Monographic meeting on Tourism of the Spanish Council of Ministers held in 2005, in which the National government had endorsed the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and had committed to its dissemination among the tourism industry in his country. Finally, he remarked that his government would prefer to discard the term “sexual tourism”, since any criminal activity should be separated from the term “tourism”, the latter being a legitimate activity that contributed to the economic development and mutual understanding among peoples and cultures around the world. Presentation of Mr. Angulo Ranz

13. Mr. Philippe Kaspi, Adviser to the Minister of Tourism of France, mentioned several actions undertaken by the French Government since it decided to intensify the fight against sexual exploitation of children in tourism in the last two years. A working group composed by representatives from several ministries, organizations, NGO´s and tourism companies had agreed to work on this issue in three main aspects: prevention, repression and international cooperation. He made reference to a Charter that had been signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the leading tourism companies in order to support the efforts of ECPAT France in implementing the Code of Conduct for the tourism industry. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism launched a proposal of a European Charter during the European Ministerial Meeting of Tourism in Malta that would enhance the actions started by the European Union in 1996. This French initiative would also include setting up an informal group with the participation of representatives of all Member States for the exchange of views and best practices as well as the development of an internal website with information on the situation in countries affected. Mr. Kaspi concluded that it was important to improve the international cooperation between receiving and sending countries and also to recognize that all stakeholders were involved in a long-lasting fight. French proposal against SECT

14. Ms. Angela Bähr, Project Director of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) reported on the Study of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of children from sexual exploitation in Travel and Tourism within the Context of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, aimed at developing standards and implementation criteria for social sustainability in the tourism sector. The approach of this project included some recommendations for further action to build up a comprehensive concept of sustainability in tourism, comprising the protection of children’s rights. She explained that this report identified some deficiencies on the implementation of the Code of Conduct, such as the differences between companies in the use of capacity-building materials and handbooks in tourism and also an insufficient integration of the Code in hotel contracts. The findings of the Study showed that companies should use their own management system as a starting point in the implementation of social standards and that they should cooperate with governmental and non-governmental bodies. Finally, Ms. Bähr underlined that the priority of an implementation programme should be focused on the development of training activities involving train-the trainer modules for auditors, staff of tourism companies, contractors and subcontractors and staff in destination countries. Presentation of Ms. Bähr

Reporting Session:

Reports on actions/measures taken by governments and organizations

15. Mr. Yoshihisa Togo, Executive Director of UNICEF Japan Committee, reported on the situation of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in his country. The activities carried out to tackle this problem involved the establishment of a pressure group for the ratification of the Convention of the Rights of the Child by the Japanese Government, as well as awareness raising by means of public events and seminars. He further mentioned five Stockholm follow-up meetings and three signature-collection campaigns advocating the Japanese Government to establish laws against commercial sexual exploitation of children and trafficking. Mr. Togo indicated that thousands of posters and leaflets on this issue had been distributed, and that his country had hosted the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Yokohama in 2001. He recalled their collaboration in the revision of the Act on Punishment for Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes and on Protection and Care of Children in 2004. Finally, Mr. Togo reminded that the Code of Conduct was launched in Japan in 2005, and that it had been signed by major travel agencies and tour operators with the support of the Japan Association of Travel Agents which covered 90% of Japanese outbound tourism. Presentation of Mr. Togo

16. Ms. Camelia Tepelus, Secretariat Coordinator of the Steering Committee of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, informed about the latest developments of the Code, which was represented in 23 countries and in more than 250 companies. She explained the Code criteria which constituted a set of six practical measures to be adopted by the private sector (tour operators, travel agencies, hotels). Some of the achievements during 2005 involved the signature of the Code in countries situated in Central and Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia and Montenegro) with the support of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This effort in preventing the sexual exploitation of children in tourism had been joined by several travel associations and NGO´s. The Code was also launched in Cancun, Mexico, within the framework of an ECPAT USA project funded by the US State Department where hotel and travel agency associations developed training programmes to build local capacity in order to prevent child sex tourism. Finally, Ms. Tepelus explained the structure of the International Steering Committee composed by different stakeholders from the tourism industry, international organizations, governments and NGOs. Presentation of Ms. Tepelus

17. Mr. Chris Gould, Chief Superintendent of the Criminal Justice Department of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary in the United Kingdom, reported on Child Abuse within educational, cultural and language trips abroad. He introduced himself explaining that he was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Child-Safe Charity aimed at protecting children and reducing crimes against children. The outcomes of several research projects that he conducted for many years showed that the sexual exploitation of children was not only a third world issue but it also happened in developed countries. He made reference to several US cases which prompted concern over exchange-student safety. The US Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students had reported that over 18 months, 33 foreign exchange students living in the US had declared having been raped or abused by members of their host families. Mr. Gould also found that from 2000 cases of abuse of children placed in homestays in 1998, only 1% had been reported to law enforcement agencies; the rest had been reported to tour operators, teachers or adults. No further action could, therefore, be taken and, consequently, there was a situation of under-reporting on this problem and very little information on the offenders.

18. Child-Safe Charity developed a website containing information on the different activities undertaken worldwide, and it published five books addressed to different audiences such as children, parents, host families, the voluntary sectors and schools. At national level, an Educational Visits Co-ordinator site focused on child protection issues was set up specifically for teachers in the UK who have a responsibility for sending young people across the world on different types of trips. Finally, Mr. Gould highlighted some main actions that should be considered to improve the protection and reduce the exploitation of children in travel and tourism: (a) raise awareness; (b) fund-raising for the Child-Safe Charity and, (c) lobbying the government to introduce a number of measures that would contribute to protect children. Presentation of Mr. Gould

19. Ms. Susanna Wilson, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of First Choice Holidays informed participants about some of the lessons learned from developing and implementing a training programme on protecting children from sexual exploitation. First Choice is one of the four big tour operators in the UK. It made a public commitment with sustainable development by taking a responsible approach with the environment and the local communities in tourism destinations. Ms. Wilson mentioned that they were promoting sustainable leisure travel and also training staff on how and on where to report suspected incidents, by identifying the most appropriate local NGOs to report to, which in turn would liaise with local police. She referred to the various activities that First Choice had undertaken together with ECPAT in the last years. With the support of the UK Charity Travel Foundation, the tour operator further produced a number of country profiles related to the current situation of sexual exploitation of children in Cuba, Bulgaria, The Gambia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Mexico. Ms. Wilson stated that building local partnerships and networks with NGOs in tourism destinations would help preventing this practice in the future. Presentation of Ms. Wilson

20. Ms. Rosa Martha Brown, Chairperson of the International Federation of Associations of Executive Women in Tourism, said that the efforts of professional women in the travel industry were aimed at involving the trade in adopting social responsibility policies that would favour the adherence to a culture of protection of children’s rights. She further referred to activities against SECT accomplished by the Infantia Foundation in Mexico, which participated in different projects in partnership with national and international organizations (ILO, UNICEF, UNWTO, ECPAT, Accor) in Mexico and the National Secretariat of Labour. Ms. Brown mentioned that the launch of a national awareness-raising campaign involved the dissemination of almost two million brochures and leaflets in Mexico city and Cancun airports, and that a number of workshops and training activities were organized for the travel industry, universities, unions and employees of the private sector in the framework of the International Program of Eliminating Child Labour (IPEC/ILO). Finally, Ms. Brown recognized that the creation of alliances between tourism stakeholders and the other sectors of society would improve the chances of children to live in dignity. Presentation of Ms. Brown

21. At the end of the session, Ms Jacqueline de Rey, Honorary President of UFTAA, and Mr. Prathap Ramanujam, Permanent Secretary for Tourism of Sri Lanka, expressed their gratitude to UNWTO Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Dawid de Villiers, for guiding the work of the Task Force during the last eight years. Because of his outstanding chairmanship, both members would propose and support Dr. de Villiers’ continuity as Chairman of the Task Force beyond the mandate of the latter at UNWTO, due to come to an end in December 2005. After thanking the members for their kind words, Dr. de Villiers reminded the participants that it was up to the Secretary-General to designate the next Chairman of the Task Force.

Next meeting

22. The Coordinator of the Task Force, Ms. Marina Diotallevi, announced that the eighteenth meeting of the Task Force was scheduled to take place at ITB Berlin, on 10 March 2006.

 


See also

  • Download a PDF of the Report of the 17th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism (London, 14 November 2005) (Please note that links to presentations are not accessible within this PDF)
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