Saturday, November 08, 2008

Protect children from exploitation in tourism, a new campaign

From the Dominican Today:

MADRID, 7 November -- As tourism and international travel across the globe reaches unprecedented levels, so does the need to combat child labor and sexual exploitation in the global travel industry -- that is why the United Nations body for tourism is taking action now.

A new awareness campaign from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism will look to raise the profile of children who are being exploited.

A total of 218 million children are estimated to be engaged in labor world wide, while millions are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, according to the International Labor Organization.

The UNWTO strongly believes that the tourism industry has a moral obligation and a special responsibility to combat child labor, sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.

“The tourism industry is an economic sector that creates job opportunities and enriches the lives of many people across the globe. We, in the UNWTO, stand for responsible and sustainable tourism, one that is respectful of the people and their local culture, and committed to help generate income and decent employment for local communities. But most of all, we stand for an industry that is respectful of human rights. Our industry has, therefore, a strong obligation to be at the forefront of this campaign” says Taleb Rifai, Deputy Secretary-General of the UNWTO. “We must act now. Children are our future. Don’t let child abuse travel!”

"There are few human rights violations more disturbing than the exploitation of children either for labor or sexual acts. All of us who work in the field of tourism should fight against these abuses and contribute to their eradication," says Dawid de Villiers, Chairman of the International Task Force.

For the rest of the article, click here.

UNWTO's website outlines opportunities for people to get involved in the campaign:
  • Using the campaign’s logo wherever possible
  • Distributing the logo, sticker and other print materials.
  • Linking your website to
  • Organizing your campaign in your community using the tools
  • Planning an event for 20 November - Universal Children’s Day
  • Distributing the video (available on November 10)
  • Informing your media contacts about the campaign
  • Sending us information on your activities for our campaign
This topic was the focus of several sessions at the 2008 UNGIFT Vienna Forum. As outlined on the campaign's action list, this effort will require extensive public-private cooperation as well as the active involvement of individual people to become informed and responsible travelers. Get involved today.

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