Protection of Children

29th Meeting of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection

Emplacement

Berlin, BE 14055
Allemagne
52° 30' 5.2668" N, 13° 16' 8.292" E
Approve event: 
No
7 Mars 2014
Lieu: 
52° 30' 5.2668" N, 13° 16' 8.292" E

The World Tourism Network on Child Protection convened for its 29th meeting on the 7th of March 2014 in the context of the ITB Berlin International Tourism Fair. With a view towards exchanging information, experiences and best practices on the protection of children in tourism, the Network operates as a global platform of the sector’s key-players, drawing together governments, the tourism industry, international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and media associations.

The central focus of the Network's 29th meeting was a special session on “Media Partnership in the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism. The meeting further featured a reporting session, affording representatives of national tourism authorities, the tourism industry, NGOs and specialised media outlets an opportunity to report on new projects concerning child protection in tourism.


Report

29th Meeting of the
World Tourism Network on Child Protection

(formerly the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism)
(ITB, Berlin, Germany, 7 March 2014)

 

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  1. The World Tourism Network on Child Protection held its 29th Meeting in Berlin on 7 March 2014, under the theme Media Partnership in the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism. Attended by around 70 delegates, the event featured a Special Session by a group of panellists from media sector which was followed by a debate and thereafter a Reporting Session wherein representatives of governments, international organisations, the tourism industry, and NGOs gave a first-hand account of their activities in the field of Child Protection in travel and tourism.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

  1. Mr Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), welcomed the guests and expressed his delight at seeing some new faces at this year’s conference that will further rejuvenate this network. He shared that UNWTO had compiled a booklet of good practices in tourism with excerpts from a collection of more than 100 interventions of this platform on child protection in a span of past 15 years of its consecutive meetings. He noted that 2 years back, we achieved the milestone of 1 billion tourists crossing international borders annually. As far as domestic travel is concerned, it stands at some 6 billion tourists per year.  He underlined that these 1 billion international tourists may bring a billion opportunities and a billion disasters alike. And by 2030 we’re going to witness a 3.4% rise in this number globally. Therefore, it’s implicit that we implement the UN Charter and the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism in their true spirit with a greater synergy with the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. He commended the huge success of the anti-trafficking campaign ‘Your Actions Count’ that was launched under the aegis of the UNWTO, UNODC and UNESCO. Media as a tool, he said, can perhaps achieve in one year what we alone would require 10 years. TV programmes such as the Freedom Project have proved to be very efficient in changing the way people think. We must establish a special partnership with our media friends because the more we are heard by the media, the better our case becomes. After Mr Taleb Rifai, Mr John Bell set the scene.

  1. Mr John Bell, a Travel Journalist and Writer, stressed upon the enormity of the challenge related to child protection. Using the analogy of a mammoth that one may be asked to eat up, he confessed that so much is the vastness of the problem that even an eternally optimist person like him finds himself in deep pessimism after learning that even the church is no longer immune to it. Substantiating his claim, he elaborated that in 2011, some 250,000 cases of criminal child abuses were registered in Brazil. Likewise, as ECPAT quotes, 2 million child abuses were registered worldwide as per ILO records. That makes it equivalent to 24 full capacity football stadia filled with children. He blamed the lack of collective effort and coordination among different parties for such an appalling trend of child abuse. Sometimes, the journalists have to annoy other stakeholders by reporting such abuses in the media. He defended his contribution as a journalist by affirming that journalists are the essential vehicles of change who ‘talk their way out of the burning hotels and crashing planes’ without any ulterior motives for cheap publicity. He also cautioned that child abuse is not confined to the areas of tourism; rather it transcends all boundaries in today’s age of technological advancement and webcams. Fortunately the NGOs and the journalists have a moral courage quotient that enables them to keep going in their fight against child abuse despite poor salaries. Hopefully, this courage quotient will keep him ‘motivated to at least have a few bites at the mammoth’s ear, if not to swallow the whole of it’, he concluded.

SPECIAL SESSION

Media Partnership in the
Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism

  1. Prof Mike Jempson, Senior Lecturer of Journalism at University of West England and Director of MediaWise, lamented the lack of training facilities in child abuse, conflict of interest within the professionals of tourism sector, sprawling number of tourism websites and male chauvinism among the principle challenges facing the fight against child exploitation in tourism industry. He illustrated that in some male-dominated societies such as in some parts of India, there are websites that openly attract tourists for sexual tourism destinations such as Amsterdam, Thailand, Costa Rica, Kenya and Japan. Such websites cut all journalists out of the picture thereby making the children more prone to sex abuse. No wonder then that 50% of his students prefer pursuing Travel Journalism as a profession with such a sprawling number of tourism related websites and increasing number of tourists every year. To make the problem worse, sometimes there’s a conflict of interest within the professionals. Once he had to face local journalists’ demonstration while imparting training in Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Children in Subic Bay area of Philippines. The journalists in question were earning their bread by publishing stories on tourism agencies and politicians responsible for issuing licences to bars from where tourists would pick the girls. He expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that it’s usually the women who are sent to participate in training programmes on child abuse, whereas the men are usually assigned the task of covering matters identified with manhood such as political or sport events.

  1. Ms Sandy Dhuyvetter, Executive Producer and Host of TravelTalkRADIO and BusinessTravelRADIO (USA), talked about the challenges faced by her while organizing trainings for airport staff, volunteers and government officials in recognizing and reporting cases of child trafficking at airports, bus stops and train stations etc. With a reach in 185 countries, she affirmed that her Radio programmes engage experts from NGOs such as ECPAT, DHS and Polaris in order to spread awareness about human trafficking in tourism sector. She raised eyebrows at the extra attention the world media recently showered upon a diplomat who was charged for human trafficking and forced labour of her domestic worker thereby simply ignoring the plight of the affected servant. As a Board Member of Airline Ambassadors International, she asserted that she has imparted human trafficking trainings to more than 100 flight attendants in around 20 airports. She then gave the floor to other speakers.

  1. Mr Jürgen Steinmetz, Publisher and President at eTurboNews (USA), expressed optimism that an ethical media can surely be profitable. The key here lies in co-operating with the tourism boards. This partnership could be of mutual interest since the media also serves as an advertising partner of the tourism industry. Although some protectionist government officials in various tourism ministries would hardly recognise that there’re trafficking related discrepancies in their states, they would love to look into it if we somehow convinced them about the same. When the tourism industry and governments appear insensitive, the key lies in seeking their co-operation and convincing them for an active discussion without jeopardising their business interests. He admitted that in this sense there is a love-hate relationship between the media and tourism stakeholders, and UNWTO can indeed play a big role here. He claimed that in the long run it’ll be good for the businesses as well, if they weed out the breeding grounds of child exploitation in co-operation with the media sector’s activism in exposing such incidents.

  1. Ms Nele Obermüller, a Freelance Journalist and Writer, pointed out that one of the biggest challenges of a travel journalist is to face the question, “Why is it being reported now?” The stakeholders in tourism industry take the negative news reports as a challenge and direct attack on their integrity. Therefore, the need of the hour is to establish a trustworthy relation between the media and tourism stakeholders.

DEBATE

The Moderator, Mr Marcelo Risi, Senior Media Officer at UNWTO, raised the question as to how far the media should partner with the Tourism sector. Replying to this question, Mr John Bell came out in favour of a campaigning role of the media rather than fully partnering with the travel industry. During the debate, it emerged that the media needs to limit itself to the role of an annoying, albeit accountable, partner.

Prof Mike Jempson came up with his 3-pronged strategy.

  • The journalists must maintain their integrity and independence. Once they become agents of tourism agencies, they lose their identity as a journalist. More and more young journalists are venturing into the travel journalism profession. It’s high time we incorporated investigative journalism into the field of travel journalism.

  • The reputed and prestigious tourism organisations should unite hands and come up with instituting a system of bursaries. It could hire budding journalists to undergo internships and report cases of child abuse. It’ll work as deterrence toward eliminating exploitation in tourism industry.

  • There should be an award dedicated for travel journalists who take on the malpractices in tourism, particularly those adding to human suffering and exploitation.

Thereafter, the panel entered into another round of discussion on whether or not a Socially Responsible Travel Award be instituted for travel journalists. To this, the majority of the panellists were in favour of except Mr Jürgen Steinmetz who said such an award is not a good idea as it’ll lead to a competitive race among journalists that could adversely affect ties with our stakeholders in tourism. He preferred a system of checks and balances in which the media knows its limits in merely identifying such malpractices so as to awaken or caution the tourism industry to take necessary steps. He reiterated that the media should play a balancing role since there’s no point in losing all our friends. Just as it’s important to reach more readers, it’s equally important to get revenues as long as it doesn’t compromise with the fundamental right against exploitation. A downtown hotel haunted by pimps in Moldova or Latvia doesn’t call for breaking news coverage by the mainstream media. Such events should be discouraged and dealt with firmly at your personal level as a responsible and aware citizen.

QUESTION ROUND

Mr Marcelo Risi thanked the speakers and opened the floor to questions from the audience.

Mr Stephen Farrant, Director of International Tourism Partnership, wondered what type of news stories should have preference in news media in order to get ourselves into our strides: the good one or the bad one. Is it the isolated success story or the underlying negative story that should attract more attention?

Ms Sandy Dhuyvetter replied that it could be quite a nightmare to market your idea with the private companies concerning the tourism sector. She illustrated that the airports she worked with were wary of a partnership due to concerns that they might be sued if somebody saw something objectionable during her training programme on sensitising the airport staff on child abuse. She finally had had to engage market leaders such as Delta and United who braved to come forward to share the pedestal.

Ms Nele Obermüller said that from 2003 to 2006, there’s been a 20% rise in Child Trafficking as per a UNODC report. It suggests that child abuse is far from over in the near future and requires more attention. Commending the CNN’s Freedom Project that aims at ending modern-day slavery, she claimed that journalists, by virtue of their job, are quite qualified at seeing the underlying patterns of identical news stories based on a whole range of topics such as exploitation, poverty, sex workers etc. And this efficiency enables them to use their discretion on judging which news to publish and which not. She recalled the Guardian’s good coverage of underpaid tea workers in India.

When the Moderator rephrased the same question and asked as to what should be the determining criteria on whether to publish a story on child abuse, Mr John Bell contended that good news don’t really make it to the news pages unless they come as an afterthought. For example, no one published that Sun & Sand, a Kenyan hotel, was looking after 800 kids. Then he also underlined the reticent behaviour of Kenyan authorities in the face of prostitution rackets being run there.

Mr Jürgen Steinmetz added that any development that’s worthy of emulating or is potentially replicable in other places deserves publication in the news media. Likewise, rescue operations, arrests, executive order on removal of pornographic TV channels from hotel premises or any matter involving cooperation between the Police and Hotel industry shall attract media attention. He recalled that when the authorities in Belfast categorised its hotels into smoking and non-smoking ones, it ignited huge media attention and thereafter even the hotel industry in Tel Aviv followed suit.

Then the Moderator asked everyone about their take on how UNWTO as a neutral inter-governmental body could contribute more in the field of child protection.

Mr Marcus Bauer, Travel Journalist at Respontour Media Network, tried to urge UNWTO to be more bold and avoid being entirely neutral. To this, Mr John Bell affirmed that UNWTO is not the Security Council and we cannot expect it to be the world’s policeman. Although all the countries equally vouch for child protection, UNWTO shouldn’t be expected to put behind bars all those who are found guilty of sexual exploitation of children. At this point the delegation from the Government of Georgia congratulated and thanked UNWTO for its inspiring efforts toward child protection across the world. Ms Salome Tripolski, the Head of Development and Planning at Georgian National Tourism Authority, shared that her government has come up with a helpline number where all such cases of child abuse could be reported in order to ensure a timely action.

Mr Theo Noten, Programme Manager at ECPAT Netherlands, wanted to know how UNWTO could tackle the issue of child exploitation in Kenya. Addressing this question, Mr John Bell continued that since we no more live in the age of stringers, we should rely on the local press in Kenya which is doing a fantastic job. He further elaborated that the journalists these days are under immense workload so much so that even the BBC counts with only 94 foreign correspondents for its news published in 27 languages. Maybe we should be having newspaper owners here instead of their representatives, he deplored.

Ms Sandy Dhuyvetter pointed out that internet has emerged as a great neutraliser. So even a naïve journalist can publish a good news story online and within a moment it can go viral. Mr Mike Jempson added that the social media can indeed play a big role here. UNWTO could also publish such stories on Twitter and keep in touch with all the signatories of its flagship Code of Ethics for Tourism for necessary follow-up on a regular basis. He lamented that the mainstream media has a dearth of outstanding and ethical journalists as most of them are mainly trained in handling ‘machines’ such as the camera and other related technology used in media houses.

Ms Astrid Winkler, Managing Director at ECPAT Austria, strongly backed the question raised earlier by her colleague Mr Theo Noten. She implored UNWTO to take effective measures that really make a difference. She argued that it could do so by participating directly with governments and Public Relations or Marketing Managers of Tourism Boards. UNWTO should convince various governments to at least put huge posters and signboards on the airports’ International Arrivals section reading “Say no to Child Abuse”, because it’s not dangerous for businesses or destination countries. Such a proactive future engagement between UNWTO and governments would be a welcome step toward child protection. She reminded that the first international conference on sexual exploitation of children was held as late as 1996 in Stockholm. Therefore, a lot needs to be done for spreading awareness given that some governments are still hesitant in coming forward openly in denouncing the menace of child prostitution. She appreciated some steps taken in this direction by a few ASEAN countries.

Mr Márcio Favilla, Executive Director at UNWTO, commended the crucial points raised by Ms Astrid Winkler. He recalled that before joining UNWTO, he was the Deputy Minister of Tourism in his home country, Brazil where he focused on the issues of Child Labour and Sexual Exploitation of children and teenagers. Ultimately, in cooperation with media, some 924 areas were identified across Brazil where this problem was rampant. He said that compared to international tourism, such exploitation is more prevalent in domestic tourism sector. Thereafter, new legislation was passed to protect children from exploitation, yet a lot needs to be done. He stressed that rather than pointing fingers at the private sector, we should seek its partnership. Isolating the private sector will further aggravate the problem since it is mainly profit-driven and hardly realises the importance of getting more involved or aware on this topic. He bewailed that a section of private local media avoids publishing stories on child exploitation fearing that such reports will drive the tourists away.

Mr Yoshihisa Togo, Vice-Chairman of Japan Committee for UNICEF, underscored the vicious conduct of the Tourist Media. Drawing inspiration from the book “No Hiding Place: Child Sex Tourism and the Role of Extra-Territorial Legislation” by Mr Jeremy Seabrook, he called upon the world media to unite in the fight against sexual exploitation of children. He contended that UNICEF alone is not enough in the Herculean task of protecting children from exploitation. UNWTO’s Ethics and Social Dimensions of Tourism (ESDT) Programme, in this sense, is playing a complementary role to the UNICEF, he observed.

Mr Michael W Gebhardt, Head of CounterEnergy International Travel Agents’ Community, recommended that all private travel portals should place UNWTO’s child protection campaign logo on their websites. It would work as deterrence for the consumers of child sex market who mainly come from the developed or the western world. Spreading the awareness this way will warn the consumer and send them a message that there’re organizations in the world that are watching it all.

Ms Sherry S Sibanda, Minister Counsellor in Tourism at the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Paris, said that poverty also plays a big role in adding fuel to the fire. Children in Africa are literally enraged over the rampant pornography facilitated by many factors such as armed conflicts, destitution, divorces and high incidence of HIV-AIDS. It’s high time we organised such conferences in Africa instead of here in Berlin. She suggested that UNWTO, in collaboration with media, should hold awareness workshops at the UN’s regional offices in developing countries, especially in Africa.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Ms Nele Obermüller summed up that if statistics show that there are 30 million cases of Human Trafficking the world over and 4 million cases in US alone, there must be certain parts of the tourism infrastructure facilitating this. She encouraged everyone to be more vigilant in reporting any suspected case of exploitation or trafficking.

Mr Jürgen Steinmetz seconded the view of Ms Nele Obermüller by proposing for an enhanced partnership between the media and UNWTO. He said that this partnership is very important and we should endeavour to make it stronger by boosting our collaboration with governments and other state actors.

Ms Sandy Dhuyvetter wrapped her arguments by suggesting that united we stand, whereas divided we fall. Together we are better than alone, and therefore we should all, including UNWTO, organise events together to teach people how to report child abuse to put an end to it. It’s not a difficult task when she alone has trained people at 3 airports, namely Dallas, New Orleans and Phoenix.

Prof Mike Jempson concluded that the training and monitoring of journalists is very crucial. Likewise, the social media should also play a more active role in combating the crime of exploitation of children.

Mr John Bell, recalling that 4 of his journalist friends are in jails in Cairo, he vehemently expressed that here we are dealing with the people who are not like us. Those who ruthlessly exploit kids don’t treat them as children but as their possessions. And we as journalists are under immense pressure. There are very few good developments. For example the UK government has put a Slavery Commission at British airports. Likewise, he commended BanglaNatak, an NGO in West Bengal state of India that has done wonderful work against Child Labour.

REPORTING SESSION

  1. Mr Márcio Favilla, Executive Director at UNWTO, introduced the Reporting Session on behalf of the Secretary-General. He informed that this session works as a platform for fomenting good practices between the media and the child protection stakeholders. It showcases the success stories as also alerts us against the threats the children and youth may be facing in Tourism. Extending condolences over the recent demise of Mr Ronald Michael O'Grady, the founder of ECPAT, he said that ECPAT has been very instrumental in curbing all forms of exploitation of children and has been a valuable partner of UNWTO in past 15 years. It was on the recommendation of ECPAT that UNWTO established the Task Force on Protection of Children in 1997 which was later on renamed to World Tourism Network on Child Protection. After thanking the guests for their continued engagement with this network, he invited Ms Dorothy Rozga to share her experiences.

  1. Ms Dorothy Rozga, Executive Director at ECPAT International, announced that ECPAT has embarked on a Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism which will formally begin in May 2014. She said a lot has changed since 1993 when ECPAT formally came into being, which is why a comprehensive study on this matter is required. She enumerated the following changes in this phenomenon:

  • With the exponential growth in tourism, more and more children are at risk. As per one study, 2 million children are affected annually at current trends.

  • In some countries such as Philippines, the community and family members of the affected children rationalise their exploitation under the pretext that they are poor and this is the only way the can feed their families.

  • The genesis of a plethora of web portals has further simplified the process for anonymous offenders. Now it’s possible to decide what age-group you prefer while booking a child online.

  • The profile of perpetrators has changed. According to new trends, there has been a shift from tourists to travellers and international to domestic. Moreover, they are no more limited to western travellers. Thus, we have altogether new origins and destinations of the perpetrators and victims, respectively.

  • Some countries have provided for an extra-territorial application of the legislation against exploitation of children in cases where such crimes are committed by their nationals during their stay abroad.

  • Irregular tourism development and weak enforcement laws in some countries further aggravate the problem.

  • There is lack of reliable data. Since the exploitation of children is a criminal act, it becomes even more difficult to collect data. In this regard, she recalled Bill Gate’s words in Davos, “If you can’t measure a problem, you can’t solve it”.

She pointed out to the impact it has on victimised children. To really fight the menace head-on, it’s necessary to rehabilitate such children because merely reporting their case in news media won’t serve any justice to their destroyed lives. Her study aims at providing updated global figures to decision-makers. It’ll be carried out by a task force of 7 eminent persons under the chairmanship of Mr Jean-Cyril Spinetta, the Honorary Chairman of AIRFRANCE KLM Group. The names of the other 6 members of the task force will be announced when confirmed. Promoting collective action, the study will be done by holding interviews, consultations and focused group discussions after regional and international evaluation. The preliminary findings, outcome and recommendations of the study are expected by June 2015. She welcomed collaboration from other participants in her study by distributing a Draft Concept Paper among other participants of the meeting. Presentation of Ms Dorothy Rozga

  1. Ms Afrooz Kaviani, Programme Director at World Vision’s East Asia Regional Office, gave an account of the Project Childhood, an Australian Government initiative in collaboration with World Vision in Mekong area of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. It began more than 3 years ago and will be completed this year. It focuses on two main aspects.

  • Prevention of Exploitation of Children in Tourism, which is entrusted directly to World Vision, and

  • Protection of Children from Exploitation in Tourism, which covers the criminal aspects and tends to strengthen the legal framework. It’s done with the collaboration of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

She informed that last year there’s been a 10% rise in international tourist arrivals in the Mekong region.

COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL TOURIST ARRIVALS
Cambodia 4.2 million
Laos 3.8 million
Thailand 26.7 million
Vietnam 7.6 million

Source: World Vision – East Asia Office

Thus, a relatively small region is attracting an incredibly increasing number of global tourists. It makes the children more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, particularly in Thailand that has witnessed arrivals of 26.7 million international tourists last year. The World Vision has trained a total of 8000 girls and boys in this region in empowering them with protective behaviour by imparting age-specific information. She lamented that the children there face huge knowledge deficit in terms of what they learn from parents and what they are trained by World Vision. She noticed that parents have no idea that boys too are equally at risk. World Vision under her stewardship has involved National Tourism Organisations, businesses, research media firms, travellers, parents and care-takers, and some 2000 other frontline players such as community representatives, teachers and social workers in the Child Safe Tourism training programme. Under this training they learn about the modus-operandi of the offenders. In many cases, the perpetrators build sufficient level of trust with their target children in order to escape being caught or raise suspicion. Child Safe Tourism campaign is being run in collaboration with Ministries of Tourism, Sport or Culture of these countries. It has also imparted training to sole proprietors and travel associations such as Kiwi Travel, Intrepid Travel and PATA Thailand. She concluded that World Vision East Asia Regional Office is complementary to ECPAT and The Code and is different from them with respect to its focus on the vulnerability ingredient of children, including orphans and beggars, on a sub-regional level. Trained travellers avoid getting indulged in otherwise potentially problematic behaviour with their host communities. Presentation of Ms Afrooz Kaviani

  1. Mr Stephen Farrant, Director at International Tourism Partnership (ITP), reported on the accomplishments of ITP which is a network of 23,500 hotels encompassing over 3.5 million rooms and 1.5 million employees. In 2010, ITP formed a Working Group that undertook the following 3 tasks:

  • Raising awareness about child exploitation
  • Developing and communicating industry-wide statement on zero tolerance against child abuse in hospitality sector
  • Reintegration of the surviving children by incorporating them into employment programmes

ITP has been sending staff recruitment guidelines to these hotels as also imparting training to their security personnel and house staff. In 2013, its success story was also published by the Guardian.

The reintegration of the child victims is done under its Youth Career Initiative (YCI) programme that started in Bangkok and now spans over 12 countries. YCI is a rehabilitation-cum-work-skills programme that trains young people from 18 to 21 years of age for 6 months. Around 85% of them secure a job in hospitality or service industry within one month of graduating.

In 2010, ITP launched its pilot programme within the YCI in collaboration with the US State Department, under which 20-25% of its pupils are drawn from the survivors of human trafficking. First started in Mexico in collaboration with the Infantia Foundation, it was recently launched in Hanoi (Vietnam) and in future will be expanded to other countries. He said the children who get training as part of this programme become crusaders against human trafficking once they start working in hospitality industry with renewed zeal. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t become complacent because exploitation of children spreads over all industries and markets. Presentation of Mr Stephen Farrant

  1. Mr Theo Noten, Programme Manager at ECPAT Netherlands, shared the first-hand experience of ECPAT NL in fight against child exploitation in Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Philippines and Thailand as part of a project sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of External Affairs under two phases: 2008-2010 and then 2011-2013. ECPAT NL focused on reporting and spreading awareness about its Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children among the tourism stakeholders such as private and public sector tourism organizations with a limited financial budget. ECPAT NL thus played the role of an enabler while its partners implemented the project.

  • Cambodia: It’s essential to work in close cooperation with the Government and the police otherwise it would be like landing in no-man’s land. Likewise, it’s important to choose right hotels for training purposes. The campaign in Cambodia largely involved reporting child protection messages on the reverse side of city maps.

  • Dominican Republic: ECPAT NL worked with small organizations in coastal areas that were helped by the youth. ECPAT NL received full support and appreciation from the hotels.

  • Gambia: The biggest challenge was reluctance from the community members who didn’t see child exploitation as a problem, rather a means of survival in the face of abysmal poverty. Therefore, community involvement is indispensable here.

  • Philippines: Participation from the youth, local governments and community are very important. He recalled the active support from rickshaw drivers in spreading awareness.

  • Thailand: Child abuse is more common at night. He recalled an altercation between a hotelier and his client who became furious after the former put an anti-child prostitution poster at the hotel’s entrance.

He recommended the maximum involvement of the hoteliers. It could be expedited by engaging them in e-learning. He expressed regret that in all these countries, the internet services are not at par with the requirements of e-learning. Presentation of Mr Theo Noten

  1. Ms Rosa Martha Brown, President and Founder of Infantia Foundation (Mexico), gave a presentation on the success story of a newly introduced certificate for the travel industry stakeholders choosing to join the Mexican Code of Conduct. The Code counts with more than 1000 signatories including a total of 32 secretaries from the Ministry of Tourism. It consists of 9 points that primarily focus on Corporate Social Responsibility within the tourism sector. Awarded by the Tourism Secretary herself, this certificate will set quality standards in the hotel and tourism industry and also prove instrumental in bringing about peace and child-friendly environment. A result of Infantia Foundation’s 14 years collaboration with the public and private sector in Mexico, all tourism stakeholders take pride in receiving it as a mark of their commitment towards child protection. She informed that March 2014 onwards, Infantia Foundation plans to impart online training to more than 7000 employees of the tourism sector. In addition to this, the Infantia Foundation is also dedicated to the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) project in partnership with Mr Stephen Farrant, Director of International Tourism Partnership (ITP). Presentation of Ms Rosa Martha Brown

  1. National Campaign Videos during the Reporting Session:

  • Ms Rosa Martha Brown presented a video message which is to be used over various platforms to spread awareness about her campaign in Mexico:

  • Uruguay’s Directorate General of Publication and Printing, Ministry of Education and Culture presented a similar video as part of its campaign in child protection:

QUESTION ROUND

Mr Frans de Man, Director of Retour Foundation NL, drew the audience’s attention toward two new trends in Dominican Republic. The Tourist Development Schemes that involve land acquisition at cheap rates leave a number of families without any means of survival and in many cases it was noticed that most of the children who were victims of child abuse came from such families. The other trend was that with the passage of time, the hotspots of child exploitation keep shifting their locations. For example, if earlier it used to be Cabarete, now it’s Punta Cana. So, there’s a complex link among tourism development plans, in particular those based on all-inclusive holiday models, and the vulnerability of children. He expressed a desire to address these issues in the future agenda of UNWTO.

Ms Antje Lüdemann, Child Protection Advocacy Officer at World Vision (Germany), raised the question as to what role can the media play in the face of such new trends in tourism development models, to which Mr Theo Noten replied that good news hardly sells unless the media organizations buy more advertising time and content. Then we should also distinguish between regular media reporters and journalists including the investigative journalists. What we can do is to know which media organization would listen to us, and based upon that knowledge we can urge them to take our questions to right politicians. After all, politics is ruled by media these days. Mr John Bell said it’ll make a bigger media story if you publish the details of references on your brochures.  Likewise, Prof Mike Jempson said that the story must trigger more stories in order to qualify as newsworthy. For instance, news coverage on parenting in targeted areas will make a good story. Ms Afrooz Kaviani elaborated examples of Google and Facebook Ads as valuable media partners. In her case, Google Ads showered a bonus of 100.000$ worth of free advertisements through Google account. Mr Tom Buncle of Yellow Railroad Ltd. advised that small contributions on our own level could make a huge difference. For example, instead of relying heavily on traditional media firms, what we can do is upload videos on YouTube and link them to our websites.

  1. Mr Márcio Favilla then closed the meeting by thanking all the speakers and participants.

***

Report authored by: Nick Balhara Dalal


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28th meeting of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection

Emplacement

International Conference Center (ICC), Hall 7 Berlin
Allemagne
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
8 Mars 2013
Lieu: 
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E

The World Tourism Network on Child Protection convened for its 28th meeting on the 8th of March 2013 in the context of the ITB Berlin International Tourism Fair. With a view towards exchanging information, experiences and best practices on the protection of children in tourism, the Network operates as a global platform of the sector’s key-players, drawing together governments, the tourism industry, international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and media associations.

The central focus of the Network's 28th meeting was a special session on “Information Communication Technologies: Protection of Children in Tourism”. The meeting further featured a reporting session, affording representatives of national tourism administrations, the tourism industry, NGOs and specialised media outlets an opportunity to report on new projects concerning child protection in tourism.


Report

Report of the twenty-eight meeting of the
World Tourism Network on Child Protection

(formerly the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism)

(ITB, Berlin, Germany, 8 March 2013)

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

1. The World Tourism Network on Child Protection (formerly the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism) held its 28th meeting in Berlin on 8 March 2013, in the context of the ITB Tourism Fair. Attended by over 60 delegates, the meeting featured a special session on “Information Communication Technologies: Protection of Children in Tourism”. The event further featured a reporting session in which representatives of governments, international organisations, the tourism industry, and NGOs related information on projects concerned with the protection of children in tourism.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

2. Dr. Dawid De Villiers, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Network, welcomed the participants and expressed his satisfaction at seeing so many familiar faces. He noted that, given the current financial problems, many people were not able to attend ITB and the present gathering. Dr. De Villiers then gave the floor to Mr. Zoltan Somogyi, UNWTO Executive Director for Member Relations and Services.    

3. Mr. Zoltan Somogyi, stressed the importance of child protection in tourism, and of preventing, combating, and eradicating child exploitation throughout the sector. He remarked on the great importance of tourism as a global phenomenon, with international arrivals projected to soar to 1.8 billion by 2030, nearly twice the 1 billion arrivals registered in 2012. This growth not only entails extensive economic benefits, he said, but also implies important challenges and responsibilities. Without concerns for sustainability, he cautioned, tourism infrastructure can be misused for ends like the exploitation and abuse of children. To mitigate such damaging potential risk, amongst others, UNWTO formulated the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, which was endorsed by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999 and the UN General Assembly in 2001. A guide for responsible and sustainable tourism development, it states that “the exploitation of human beings in any form, especially when applied to children, conflicts with the fundamental aims of tourism and is the negation of tourism” (Article 2.3). Mr. Somogyi stressed the need to speak openly about this issue, and above all, to act decisively. He explained that UNWTO’s Child Protection Network has served as a forum for the exchange of experiences on the issue of child exploitation for sixteen years, most of which was under the Chairmanship of Dr. De Villiers. He credited the body with helping to facilitate partnerships between the public and the private sectors, promote cooperation between tourist generating and destination countries, and encourage collaboration between the tourism industry and civil society.

4. Mr. Somogyi observed that the development of new technologies has gone hand in hand with the rise of the tourism sector, and will continue to increase exponentially in the future. He argued that, although such technologies, particularly the internet, can be misused by criminals to exploit children they can also be used to fight exploitation. He recalled the role they have to play in awareness raising, spreading messages on child protection in tourism to travellers, tourism policy makers, and service providers worldwide. They can be used to educate and train individuals to respond to the problem.

5. Dr. De Villiers elaborated on the Network’s past and importance, recalling that, in 1996, ECPAT approached UNWTO with a request to facilitate meetings on the subject of child protection. This prompted the first meeting of the “Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism” in 1997, and has been followed by further 28 meetings at ITB Berlin and at WTM London. Since 2008, meetings have taken place annually at ITB. Since 2003, 173 presentations have been given by 23 governments, 11 international and regional organizations, 17 non-governmental organizations, 9 tourism associations, 16 tourism industry companies, 3 members of the media, 1 representative of an academic institution, and 3 consultants, many of whom presented on various occasions. Stressing the difficulties in initially encouraging participation in the Network, given that many ignored the fact that child exploitation in tourism exists, he welcomed the growing support for the network and emphasized the importance of activities on the ground in terms of the progress made to date. Dr. De Villiers made clear that the problem of child abuse affects communities in every single country in the world, persists across time and must be dealt with unrelenting severity. Referring to an article published in The Times on the 6th of March, 2013, he noted that cases exist even in the United Kingdom, with the number of victims now considered to be considerably higher than previously thought. This calls into question the way the matter is being investigated and prosecuted and   highlights the need for urgent measures to counter the problem in the UK and other developed countries. He concluded his remarks by announcing UNWTO Secretariat had selected some 15 exemplary cases presented at past meetings of the Network for inclusion in a brochure that will be made available online. Dr. de Villiers then introduced the theme of the special session; “Information Communication Technologies: Protection of Children in Tourism”, and gave the floor to, Mr. Jürgen Steinmetz, member of the Network’s Executive Committee and a specialist in communication technology.

SPECIAL SESSION: “INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES: PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM”

6. Mr. Jürgen Steinmetz expressed his delight that the same participants come back to the Network’s meeting every year, but regretted that the group is not broader and that the topic does not get the attention it deserves. Lamenting that limited, and sometimes even declining, funding impeded planned initiatives such as the launching of the Network’s web portal. He urged UNWTO to do more to support the Network, highlighting technology as a means of doing this inexpensively and effectively. Mr Steinmetz then announced that his colleague, Ms. Sandy Dhuyvetter, would moderate the session.

7. Ms. Sandy Dhuyvetter, Executive Producer and Host of Travel Talk Media, introduced her background as a journalist active in travel media and explained her involvement with NGOs such as Airline Ambassadors International, which provides relief to under-privileged communities worldwide and trains airline employees to respond to phenomena like Human Trafficking. She then gave the floor to the session’s speakers.

8. Mr. Peter Davies, Chief Executive Officer of the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), explained that his organization is a law enforcement-lead child protection centre affiliated with the UK National Crime Agency. CEOP works with law enforcement in the UK and partners around the world (law enforcement, NGO and the private sector) to protect children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in the UK as well as abroad, since child abuse is sometimes perpetrated by British citizens in other regions. He explained that CEOP’s work is based on the three P’s: “Prevention”, “Protection” and “Pursuit”, and that a fourth P could also be added: “Partnership”. The threats CEOP covers are both online and offline, as both worlds cannot be disentangled. Serious online child sexual abuse includes possessing and distributing indecent images of children, whereas two offline areas include (1) cases of sexual child abuse in the UK, as referred to by Mr. Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK in The Times article of 6th of March 2013 mentioned by Dr. De Villiers, and (2) “transnational child sexual abuse”, formerly designated as “traveling sex offenders”.  Mr. Davies stressed that, although tourism can play an important role in the perpetration of child exploitation, there are other factors which are often less understood. Some of the people who pose the greatest danger for children in many countries aren’t tourists but residents, embedding themselves in communities, often in positions of trust (ex: teachers, public authorities, etc.) and using this as a means of access to vulnerable children. A new phenomenon we are dealing with, Mr. Davies said, is technology-enabled international child abuse. He gave two examples from 2012: (1) Some 80 teenagers, mainly girls, had their Facebook accounts hijacked and were blackmailed into performing sexual acts on webcam, in order to regain control of their Facebook accounts. CEOP traced the offenders, located in Kuwait. They never left their country, never met any of their victims, and deployed technical means to target vulnerable children and young people in another part of the world for their gratification. Thanks to the collaboration of the local authorities, the offenders were brought to justice and are currently in prison in Kuwait. (2) Another example where the threat emanates from the UK (or other countries) and abuse takes place in other parts of the world is the example of an organized crime group in the Philippines, which has arranged for the paid abuse of children online. Abusers pay to select a child, decide what kind of abuse the victim will suffer, have it performed and have the video streamed back to them. This kind of abuse is extremely harmful and must be tackled, Mr. Davies emphasized, just as any form of child abuse. What is apparent from such examples, he highlighted, is that the very nature of child sex abuse is changing. These changes have to be understood and kept up with. The CEO of CEOP concluded by giving an example of the Centre’s recent prevention initiatives, notably the recently launched International Child Protection Certificate, which enables any employer to get a criminal record check done of a UK national before they are employed (CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check). Mr. Davies recommended that organizations check their future UK employees in this way in order to minimize the risk of child abuse.

9. Mr. Bakri, Director of Society Empowerment of Tourism Destinations of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, spoke of efforts to prevent sexual exploitation of children in his country’s tourism sector. He pointed out that the occurrence of the sexual exploitation of children is rising, partly due to the growing importance of information technologies, and given certain legislative actions in Indonesia concerning freedom of information. In 2012, there were 63 million internet users in the country who are mostly young people. Children have become more vulnerable to cybercrime since ICT now has a prominent place in their private lives. Most parents are internet illiterate, and are not aware that their children might be exposed to sexual crime on the internet. Mr. Bakri highlighted measures taken by the government to fight child abuse, referring especially to Law 11 (2008) on Electronic Information and Transaction, Law 44 (2008) on Pornography, and Law 23 (2002) on Child Protection. As the sexual exploitation of children is considered a severe crime in Indonesia, the Government has launched several campaigns involving tourism industry and NGO partners, aimed at actively involving society in child protection programs such as the “Wise While Online Campaign” of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The Ministry of Tourism supports the efforts of provincial and regional tourism authorities to counter child sexual abuse in destinations including Bali, Jakarta, Lombok, Batam, North Sulawesi and North Sumatra through stricter control of the employment of young persons (under the age of 18) in tourism businesses (such as karaoke clubs, massage and spa parlous, restaurants, bars, and hotels) and with regards to instances of sexual abuse in hotels. Further actions have included the signature of the Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics by tourism industry stakeholders (September 2012), a campaign against the sexual exploitation of children, sanctioning tourism business involved in the exploitation of children, and legal punishment for perpetrators of child sexual abuse. In 2012, an investigation in three areas in Indonesia was carried out in collaboration with ECPAT, which brought to light 94 cases of children whose identity was falsified and who were forced to work in tourism businesses. Speaking of online cases of child abuse, Mr. Bakri mentioned research undertaken by the Facebook Indonesia in 2012 which shows that a trend is evolving toward online sex purchasing, with 18,747 images of children to be trafficked uploaded on the page - the highest figure in the Asian Region. Mr. Bakri concluded by emphasizing the Ministry’s work and noting that, while child abuse may never cease to exist, the task of all partners is to at least reduce the problem significantly. Presentation of Mr. Bakri

10. Ms. Aarti Kapoor, Regional Program Manager of Project Childhood at the Prevention Pillar of AusAid/World Vision, Australia, spoke of understanding the ICT risks to children and the ways to keep them safe, focusing particularly on Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Project Childhood, she explained, is a 3.5 year project of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) aimed at combatting the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. Its “Protection Pillar” works on law enforcement and criminal justice, and is being implemented by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). World Vision is responsible for the implementation of the “Prevention Pillar”, which includes raising awareness about child sexual abuse in tourism through training and education campaigns. World Vision works at five different levels across the four countries: (1) community resilience in tourism destinations, (2) national helplines and ICT portals to support children’s access to help, (3) public and private sector response through a campaign for tourists and travellers on Child Safe Tourism, and through training for the tourism sector, (4) assistance to governments and (5) international advocacy and knowledge sharing. She then explained how ICT is being used in the four South-East Asian countries, noting the popularity of mobile phones over fixed lines and of internet cafes and shared hubs over fixed broadband. She pointed out that children, including street children, are increasingly using the internet, mainly in popular tourism destinations. They mainly engage in gaming (as well as gambling, thus incurring debts), social networking (Facebook, MSN) and texting. ICT is also increasingly used by offenders, not only to groom, but also to produce child sexual abuse images, and to book abusive experiences at destinations. Offenders also increasingly meet children in internet cafes. The risk factors, Ms. Kapoor explained, include a lack of appropriate sex education at schools, the accessibility of adult pornography, and parents feeling too uncomfortable to talk about sex to their children. Additionally, the internet is often seen as ‘poison’ by parents and duty bearers, thus children while online, are far away from parental control. Finally, she underscored a general lack of education about keeping safe. World Vision’s response to this situation consists of educational interventions on preventing child sexual abuse which address children, parents, carers and duty bearers (i.e. teachers, police and social workers). Key messages relate to discrediting myths, fostering communication and sharing ideas for protective behaviour, for instance, noting that boys are as much at risk as girls, that the internet is not an evil place, that communication between parents and children has to be fostered, and that children must be encouraged to trust their instincts. Ms. Kapoor concluded that the use of the internet and ICT is a focus for the changing nature of child abuse, and that it is necessary to keep a close eye on it, build a good evidence base, and stay informed about the latest information on the issue. Presentation of Ms. Kapoor

11. Ms. Dhuyvetter inquired about the age group to which the presentation referred. Ms. Kapoor replied that it only included children between 12 and 17 since they could be interviewed without their parents present.   

12. Mr. Andreas Astrup, General Manager of The Code discussed updating The Code using “Cloud Technology”. He recalled that The Code is an industry-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative with a mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to combat the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. Six criteria have been defined for implementation by the tourism industry to protect children from sex tourism. The Code has been very successful in campaigning, raising awareness and recruiting. Implementation, however, has been harder to achieve. This is why a new online ‘cloud’ based tool has been developed over the past year to (1) standardize work processes, (2) provide the necessary tools for easy implementation, (3) meet the demand for staff training within the travel industry, (4) reach out to new companies, including within high-risk sectors, and (5) strengthen reporting and transparency to give The Code a clear identity with attractive benefits for its members. The tool includes a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system and an LCR (Local Code Representatives) Portal to which local representatives have access and can add and update data. It further consists of a Members Portal where companies can login and start implementing The Code online, alongside a new website and a scenario-based e-learning tool. Mr. Astrup explained these three facets in detail before presenting an overview of the membership process, from signing up to becoming a leading member. Apart from approving the company, the entire process is now handled automatically within the system, whereas everything previously had to be done manually by staff. This affords them far more time for recruiting new companies and supporting The Code’s current members. Presentation of Mr. Astrup

13. Ms. Dhuyvetter thanked the speakers and opened the floor to questions from the audience. 

14. Ms. Alice Macek of ECPAT UK asked Mr. Davies to give examples of CEOP’s collaboration with NGOs and the travel industry in the UK and overseas. Mr. Davies pointed to the partnership with the International Child Protection Network, which is especially active in South East Asia and Eastern Europe. He expressed his hope of extending such activities in all worlds’ regions where UK citizens pose a particular threat. He also mentioned the Corporate Charter, which obliges companies to assume a certain amount of responsibility for enacting child safe policies and practices within their organization. In this context, CEOP works with organizations and companies that want to know what they can do to protect children, providing them with the necessary tools to do so. He also highlighted the International Child Protection Certificate mentioned in his presentation. In terms of working with the tourism industry, Mr. Davies underlined links with the International Child Protection Network, as well as efforts made to involve airlines in awareness-raising, especially in South East Asia.  

15. Dr. de Villiers thanked the participants, before introducing the speakers of the reporting session.

REPORTING SESSION

16. Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha, Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF Viet Nam presented an analysis of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in various provinces and cities in Viet Nam. She introduced a recently published report as a result of the collaboration between the Vietnamese government and UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org/vietnam). Ms. Nguyen expressed her special thanks to Ms. Anita Dodds who contributed to the report as an independent researcher, and to Ms. Le Thi Ha, Director of the Social Evil Prevention Department, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. Ms. Nguyen explained that, a quarter of Viet Nam’s population is under 16 years of age, some 1.6 million of whom are in need of special protection. The tourism industry is growing rapidly, with more than six million international visitors in 2012, mainly from China, South Korea, Japan, Western Europe and the US. Tourists visit both major cities and remote areas and ethnic hill tribes. Although tourism is important, the country wants to ensure its children are safe. Vietnamese laws prohibit prostitution and child sexual exploitation, but nevertheless, cases of abuse persist. A number of stakeholders were interviewed for the report, including 100 children, 50 of whom are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The majority reported that their abusers included foreigners. Most victims were between 12 and 15 years old, both boys and girls. Child sex tourism was found to occur in all the locations researched by the Report, usually in hotels and guesthouses. Foreign sex offenders are known to operate both independently and within organised networks. In 2005 and 2006, seven offenders were arrested for sex crimes against children. Ms. Nguyen noted that ICT plays an important role in the expansion of sexual exploitation in Viet Nam since it provides new mechanisms by which foreigners and traffickers can lure victims, and disseminate indecent images of children. 14 of the child respondents reported that customers collected images of them while engaged in sex, and it is known that children have been forced to participate in ‘body show’ and ‘chat sex’. Customs officials have confiscated inbound pornography at border posts featuring children from other countries, demonstrating that abuse is a regional problem. Ms. Nguyen emphasized the need for a more comprehensive child protection system, focusing on five comprehensive areas: a policy framework, a coordination framework, legal and regulatory systems, social welfare systems, and social behaviour systems. In practical terms, this entails the establishment of a national Task Force (involving the government, the UN, NGO’s, and the private tourism sector), a private sector business forum, a form of recognition for businesses which follow protection requirements, the improvement of child protection in the digital environment, strengthening the protective capacity of families, and conducting a special campaign for young people. Following the launch of the Report, the government of Viet Nam decided to develop a national Plan of Action to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation and hoped for support from international agencies and the private sector in this regard. Presentation of Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha

17.  Mr. Andreas Müseler, Chairman of the Sustainability Committee of DRV (the German Travel Association) discussed implementing The Code in the German travel industry. Noting that the protection of children from sexual exploitation is considered essential, he noted that steps have been taken to fight the phenomenon especially since tourism infrastructure (ex: hotels and airlines) is often used in this context. DRV signed The Code on behalf of its members in 2001, and established a Working Group on Child Protection with tour operators, travel agencies, NGOs, DRV members, the German police, and invited specialists. DRV’s actions consist mainly of awareness-raising activities, such as destination workshops and training, an information brochure entitled “Little Souls – Big Danger”, an in-flight spot “Witnesses”, and a tri-national campaign between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The destination workshops consist of awareness-raising and the training of employees in destinations, aimed at teaching them how to deal with the sexual exploitation of children in tourism and the particular situations they encounter. The workshops are organized by DRV and its partners, in cooperation with local authorities, ministries, the local police and NGOs, and are considered an important platform for the exchange of experiences. The brochure “Little Souls – Big Danger”, with its simple message “Don’t look away”, contains information for travellers on the sexual exploitation of children in tourism,  features the German reporting address stopp-misbrauch@bka.de (which leads directly to the German police) and the contact details of the project partners. The brochure is distributed via travel agencies, through travel documentation, at airports, and in hotels. The in-light spot “Witnesses” is part of the tri-national campaign to counter child exploitation. It is shown on flights, the websites of travel companies, information screens, and in medical offices, and has been realized with the support of various travel industry partners (Accor Deutschland, Condor Flugdienst, Gebeco, Studiosus Reisen, TUI Deutschland, TUI Fly). Presentation of Mr. Müseler

18. Ms. Miriam Landhofer, Program Officer of the Department for Child Protection and Ethics at REWE Touristik Group - Germany’s second largest tourism company serving 6.6 million clients annually - elaborated on the subject of child protection workshops organized within REWE Touristik Hotels. Ms. Landhofer explained that she was trained by ECPAT and is now responsible for workshops on child protection training addressing management in the establishments run by REWE: Club Calimera, Lti hotels, and PrimaSol. She considers such training very important since hotel premises are often the sites of child exploitation, unless mechanisms are in place to stop this from occurring. In order to make sure these mechanisms are effective, hotels need a clear child protection policy known to every member of staff. Furthermore, staff need a clear strategy of how to react whenever there is any suspicion of child abuse. Consequently, REWE Touristik Hotels organize “train the trainer” workshops, after which managers receive a certificate and material to teach their own staff. Topics discussed during the workshops include: where Child Sex Tourism happens, the identity of offenders and victims, the types of tourism infrastructure misused to perpetrate abuse and the consequences of abuse for both victims and the society in which they live. Workshops further include discussions about national and international laws concerning sex with minors, as well as debates on the role of the tourism industry, and on what employees can do to prevent exploitation. During the workshops, different methods are employed, such as presentations, role play and working groups, with the main focus on the practical implementation of the knowledge acquired. Typical situations that can happen in any hotel are used as examples, and destination-specific role plays have been developed to cope with specific local situations, mentalities and problems. This destination-based approach has proved especially important, and constitutes one of the success factors of the programme. REWE’s aim for 2013 is to cover all its destinations, and to repeat workshops every 1-3 years in each destination. Presentation of Ms. Landhofer

19. Ms. Bharti Patel, Chief Executive Officer of ECPAT UK, discussed the 2012 Olympics Trafficking and Policy Response, asking whether London got it right and presenting an overview of the debate centred on the issue, and of the post-event research carried out by think tanks to advise governments on necessary actions. ECPAT, international children’s rights charity which campaigns for the protection of children exploited in tourism, including child victims of trafficking, is involved in monitoring, research, advocacy, awareness raising, training and supporting victims of exploitation. Child trafficking, Ms. Patel explained, is the movement of a child for the purpose of exploitation organized by traffickers. In the course of the preparations for the 2012 London Olympics, various opposing statements were made by politicians concerning the possible occurrence of child trafficking. Some opined that major sporting events can be a magnet for the global sex and trafficking industry, while others suggested that there is no strong evidence for a positive correlation between human trafficking and such events- The latter view also held that (a) visitors often come in family groups, with restricted budgets: (b) cost-benefit analysis for traffickers would be unfavourable due to the short duration of the events, (c) anti-trafficking measures are disproportionate, unnecessary or harmful and it is argued that genuine sex workers were increasingly criminalised and unable to access health and social programmes, and (d) certain NGOs opportunistically use the sport events to raise awareness to gain support for their cause. The former point of view, however, believes that (a) campaigns countering human trafficking and increased law enforcement are necessary to prevent trafficking, and (b) international sporting events can increase human trafficking due to the short-term increased demand for prostitution, construction work, and other forms of forced labour. The preparation for the Olympics started from the assumption that mega events do have an impact on trafficking. Partners involved in these preparations included the Metropolitan Police, various NGOs and the UK Border Agency. Tools were produced and disseminated by the London Safeguarding Board, and many people were trained to recognize signs of trafficking and the abuse of children, including some 70,000 volunteers. During the events, the available security force was of considerable importance. The responsible Minister admitted that the government’s own research shows trafficking is a real issue in UK, but that evidence of large scale trafficking into London as a result of the Olympics was not found. Ms. Patel indicated that it is difficult to determine whether this was a result of the measures put in place in preparation for the Games, or whether the threat simply didn’t materialise. She confirmed that the preparation made was of a high standard, but added that government policy is remains focused on short-term solutions to the phenomena, such as strengthening borders. She called for policy reform and strategic solutions to address the fundamental causes of trafficking to and within nations, and to formulate a comprehensive policy response which includes oversight, coordination and cross-departmental efforts. She advocated for the appointment of an Independent National Rapporteur to oversee policy development, assess the scale of trafficking, monitor trends and make recommendations to the government, including during high-risk events like the Olympics. Ms. Patel further suggested a system of guardianship with parental responsibility to act in the best interest of child trafficking victims, and safe accommodation for all victims with due consideration for their physical, psychological, legal, linguistic and security needs. She mentioned existing tools to prevent and eradicate child trafficking, such as The Code and its e-learning tools, as well as tools set up by individual countries. On a pan-European level, she indicated that work is being carried out on the second stage of the “Don’t Look Away” campaign, which will highlight risks during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Presentation of Ms. Patel

20. Ms. Anna Quartucci, President of T.a.T.A., Italy, presented the “Safe Host” project. Receiving support from the European Commission, the project promotes European social dialogue in taking action against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. Ms. Quartucci highlighted the internet as an important change affecting child sex tourism, as its use makes it difficult to monitor travellers and their activities. She also indicated that by December 2015, all EU member states will have to take the necessary measures to comply with the Directive 2011/92/EU on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. She said that the private tourism sector can play a strategic role therein, and that it is consequently crucial to adopt a multi-stakeholder strategy to harmonize policies and practices within the EU. She emphasized that sustainable and responsible tourism has to be child-wise and child-safe, and put values and ethics above profits. The Safe Host project supports joint initiatives of European social partners, including trade unions and employers in the tourism sector, to combat child sexual exploitation. Additionally, an agreement between the partners on tackling child sex tourism is pursued. The specific objectives of the project are to (1) identify models of good practice for the whole tourism supply chain and methods to avoid the use of tourism channels for the purpose of child exploitation, (2) promote networking and knowledge sharing among key actors in the tourism sector, (3) strengthen synergies and exchanges between European social partners to foster the harmonization of policies and practices for the prevention of and the fight against child sex tourism, and (4) contribute to the implementation of Directive 2011/92/EU and of the Europe 2020 strategy. Ms. Quartucci elaborated on the tools used within the programme - with ECPAT as special partner - notably a Data Collection Form (DCF) to provide an overview of good practices from on preventing the use of tourism facilities for exploitative purposes, such as codes of conduct, collective agreements, social dialogue agreements, or CSR policies; a tool box to provide training and awareness-raising material for HORECA travel agency and transportation employees; guidelines for tourism companies; and a label for raising awareness to be featured on travel and accommodation contracts. She expressed her hope that the project will encourage everyone involved in the tourism sector to contribute to fighting child abuse. Presentation of Ms. Quartucci

21. Ms. Rosa Martha Brown, Founder and Director of Fundación Infantia spoke of child protection in Mexico. The main partner and contributor to the Foundation’s initiatives is the Mexican Ministry of Tourism, whom she thanked for their support. One of 2012’s main achievements was the increased commitment of the travel industry to fighting child sex tourism. The main tool used to this end was the Mexican Code of Conduct for the protection of children in tourism and travel, a document based on the international Code of Conduct with additional features to enrich its implementation (a protocol of awareness, a protocol of safe and anonymous denouncements, and a protocol of attention to children). In 2012, over 500 travel agents, companies and local governments were engaged to sign the Code. An alliance was established between the national government, Microsoft, the Human Rights Commission, the Travel Agents Union and Fundación Infantia to enhance the Code. More than 22 Marriott branches in Mexico signed and implemented the document, thereby encouraging other companies to follow suit. A training manual on the Code addressing trainers was drafted, and an alliance was initiated with taxi driver unions. They signed the Code and engaged in raising awareness aimed at both taxi drivers and users, to increase knowledge of the fact that child sex tourism is forbidden and punished by law in Mexico. Bookmarkers were printed and disseminated to restaurants, hotels, and tour operators, to familiarize their clients with the Code. Through CROC (Confederación Revolucionaria de Obreros y Campesinos), the most important workers union in Mexico, Fundación Infantia trained more than 4,000 people, an effort which promises exponential results, since those trained will share their knowledge in each of their companies. Explaining the NGOs goals for 2013, Ms. Brown announced that two Mexican airlines and the National Hotel and Motel Association representing over 4,000 hotels, have agreed to sign the Code. A Protocol on denouncement is to be developed for hotels, irrespective of their size. In June 2013, an online e-learning system will be launched in cooperation with the country’s public authorities. It is expected that the Code will have more than 1,000 signatories by the end of the year. Ms. Brown explained that Fundación Infantia represents the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) in Mexico, where the programme has been implemented in hotels in Mexico City, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. In 2013, it is expected to be launched in Guadalajara and Monterrey. Mexico was the first country to introduce the issue of child trafficking within the YCI program, a campaign that has proved highly successful. An agreement signed with Starbucks Coffee has also been enriching for YCI, entailing training for young people, comparable to the training given in hotels.

22. Dr. de Villiers thanked the speakers and requested their permission to use the content of their presentations online, in order to raise awareness of their efforts. Recalling that at its last meeting the Executive Committee of the Network suggested mobilizing the media and forming a stronger partnership with them, Dr. De Villiers proposed that the theme of the Network’s 29th gathering be “Media Partnerships for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism”, wherein media stakeholders working in television, print media, radio or the internet, would be invited to share their experiences.

 


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UNODC-UNWTO Side Event on Human Trafficking in the Context of Tourism

Emplacement

Vienna
Autriche
48° 12' 29.4264" N, 16° 22' 25.7484" E
Approve event: 
No
24 Avril 2012
Lieu: 
48° 12' 29.4264" N, 16° 22' 25.7484" E

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UNWTO held a joint side event on the subject of “Human Trafficking in the Context of Tourism”, in parallel with the 21st Session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria, on the 24th of April 2012.

The event aimed to raise awareness of the phenomenon of human trafficking in relation to tourism, and to dispel any false sense of security that this form of exploitation bears no relation to the sector. The event conveyed the message that tourism infrastructure can be misappropriated by traffickers for exploitative purposes. While victims of trafficking are most often enslaved for sexual purposes, they may also be found in the kitchens of restaurants or bars, cleaning guesthouses, or engaged in exploitative begging and street hawking. Even the organs of trafficked victims are used today to attract travellers in need of transplants. Above all, the event emphasized that the tourism sector can and should play a vital role in preventing human trafficking. Efforts like the codes of conducts of tourism companies, and laws that allow for the prosecution in their homeland of tourists who engage in sexual conduct with children, must be strengthened and built upon, the event stressed.

UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai, called for concerted global action at every level of society to prevent and combat human trafficking, especially child trafficking, in the tourism sector. “It is appalling to see tourism infrastructure being used by traffickers to victimize the vulnerable," explained the Secretary-General of  UNWTO, "yet our sector is firmly committed to reclaim this same infrastructure and use it for awareness raising in the fight against trafficking.”

Prior to the event, UNODC and UNWTO signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on initiatives directed at combating the trafficking of humans, wildlife, and cultural artegacts, in relation to the tourism sector.

 


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Protection of Children
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This is a main event

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

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ITB Tourism Fair Berlin
Allemagne
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
12 Mars 2005
Lieu: 
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)
Catégorie
Type d'évènement: 
Conference
Meeting
Related to: 
Protection of Children
Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme
Programme
UNWTO
Event or Session: 
This is a main event

15th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Emplacement

World Travel Market London
Royaume-Uni
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W
Approve event: 
No
8 Novembre 2004
Lieu: 
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)
Catégorie
Type d'évènement: 
Conference
Meeting
Related to: 
Protection of Children
Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme
Programme
UNWTO
Event or Session: 
This is a main event

14th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Emplacement

ITB Tourism Fair Berlin
Allemagne
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
13 Mars 2004
Lieu: 
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)
Catégorie
Type d'évènement: 
Conference
Meeting
Related to: 
Protection of Children
Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme
Programme
UNWTO
Event or Session: 
This is a main event

13th meeting of the Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism

Emplacement

World Travel Market London
Royaume-Uni
51° 30' 29.2644" N, 0° 7' 40.818" W
Approve event: 
No
10 Novembre 2003
Lieu: 
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)
Catégorie
Type d'évènement: 
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

Emplacement

ITB Tourism Fair Berlin
Allemagne
52° 31' 9.0156" N, 13° 24' 21.9276" E
Approve event: 
No
8 Mars 2003
Lieu: 
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)
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