The upcoming ITB trade show in Berlin, Germany is not only the largest travel and tourism event in the world, but also the place to show support in the fight against exploitation of children through tourism.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization will recognize the importance of this issue for world tourism on March 9, 2017 15.00-16.30- at a public event at Room M1, City Cube, Berlin Congress Centre.
eTN Publisher Juergen T Steinmetz has been a member of the UNWTO task group for almost 10 years and will be looking for best practices and initiatives to share with eTN readers on how government, private companies and anyone else helps to combat this dark issue in tourism and is extending a special welcome to eTurboNews readers to attend.
The UNWTO’s Child Protection Network serves as a platform for tourism stakeholders to exchange good practices and discuss the most pressing challenges in curbing child and youth exploitation in the tourism sector, including sexual exploitation, child labour and trafficking. The Network draws together governments, the tourism industry, international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and media associations.
Under the guiding principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the mission of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection is to support efforts to protect children from all forms of exploitation in tourism. Although its main focus is the protection of minors against sexual exploitation, it encompasses the issues of child labour and the trafficking of minors. Its principle objectives are:
• to raise awareness among the tourism sector, governments and tourists;
• to encourage the tourism industry to engage in ethical practices, particularly by adopting professional codes of conduct and other self-regulatory measures;
• to invite governments to take administrative and legal measures, such as the designation of focal points (contact persons) within their national tourism administrations, the establishment of emergency hotlines, the strengthening of national legislation and the improvement of law enforcement;
• to encourage cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as between tourist generating and receiving countries; and
• to monitor the fight against the sexual exploitation of children in tourism networks at both the national and international levels.
This year’s meeting at ITB will highlight the most successful initiatives championed by the governments, particularly by national tourism administrations, thus paving the road for tourism destinations to lower the extent of vulnerability of child and youth.
The event will also establish linkages with the Int’l Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 by illustrating good practices that improve livelihoods of children.
UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai will deliver introductory remarks together with Ms. Carol Bellamy, Chair of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection.
Participants will hear from
H.E. Mr. Najib Balala, Minister of Tourism, Kenya
Mr. Tokiaritefy Rabeson, General Director of Tourism Development, Ministry of Tourism, Madagascar
Ms. Magdalena Montero, Adviser to the Minister of Tourism of Uruguay, Representative of the Regional Task Force for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism of the Americas (GARA)
H.E. Ms. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Thailand
Ms. Khin Than Win, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar
Mr. Mohamed Basheer, Chief Inspector, Head of Family and Child Protection Department, Maldives
Police Service, and Ms. Alice Akunga, Country Representative for Maldives
Ms. Clare Jenkinson, Senior Destinations & Sustainability Manager, Association of British Travel Agents – ABTA
Mr. Amitava Bhattacharya, Founder and Director, banglanatak.com- Social Enterprise from West Bengal, India
Ms. Joanna Rubinstein, President & CEO, World Childhood Foundation USA and Board Member of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
Participants have the opportunity to interact and ask questions.