Protect Children from Exploitation in Travel and Tourism - A new awareness campaign from the UNWTO and its partners
A total of 218 million children are estimated to be engaged in labour world wide, while millions are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The UNWTO strongly believes that the tourism industry has a moral obligation and a special responsibility to combat child labour, 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 labour 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.
The campaign, under the banner of – "Protect Children from Exploitation in Travel and Tourism" -- stresses that it is unacceptable for the industry and the travelling public to tolerate the abuse of children in all its forms.
As part of this campaign, the UNWTO is encouraging the industry to enforce its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and protect children against harm.
The campaign is formally launched at the World Travel Market 2008 at the 23rd meeting of the International Task Force – London, 10 November 2008, and globally on the Universal Children's Day – 20 November through joint and coordinated efforts by all partners, participants, supporters.
The campaign already enjoys broad support on the part of national governments, tourism boards, other UN agencies as well as partners from the public and private sectors.
The UNWTO is using various forms of media including video, web and print in order to disseminate its message. A new logo is available and a number of web pages and an email are dedicated to this campaign.
The UN body is also encouraging and supporting local programs across the globe. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias has made a video address on the topic, which is available on request.
Notes for editors:
- Logos available for download
- Video and footage are available
- For more information go to www.UNWTO.org/protectchildren
- The email being used for this project is protectchildren@UNWTO.org
Marina Diotallevi, Coordinator, International Task Force to Protect Children in Tourism
Alla Peressolova, coordinator of the media campaign.
Marcelo Risi, UNWTO Media Officer