Statement: World Tourism Day
STATEMENT OF THE NGO COMMITTEE TO STOP TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS FOR WORLD TOURISM DAY, SEPTEMBER 27
As tourism represents one in every eleven jobs worldwide and is a key source of revenue for many countries, including developing and emerging economies, the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons wishes to highlight the imperative that all stakeholders in tourism; central and local government, the tourism industry, local communities, travelers, both domestic and international, must be engaged in efforts to prevent human trafficking.
The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons applauds both the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Global Code on Ethics for Tourism and its special efforts to protect children in tourism. It is good business ethics and good for business when companies exercise corporate social responsibility to combat trafficking. Signing and implementing codes of conduct that mandate the establishment of policies and procedures against sexual and labour exploitation, including anti-trafficking clauses in supply chain contracts, and the training of employees to report trafficking are good practices in prevention.
The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day, Tourism and Community Development, reminds us that while tourism offers new socio-economic opportunities and better livelihoods for communities, there is also increased responsibility to guard against increased human rights abuses such as human trafficking. Yury Fedotov, the Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime remarked, “Awareness is the key, because even though human trafficking is a transnational crime happening everywhere, it is a crime that is committed locally, in our neighborhoods and local communities.” Local government, and law enforcement officials, all local businesses that benefit from increased tourism and local citizens all have a critical role to play in the efforts to prevent human trafficking. To that end, it is essential to build the capacity of the community to respond to trafficking by training local authorities and tourism impacted businesses.