Voice for the Voiceless Tourism and Child Exploitation World Vision Canada
Who is World Vision? A child-focused international development, relief, and advocacy organization We work in nearly100 countries and work alongside communities to find sustainable ways to bring them out of poverty Witnessed first-hand the impact of sexual exploitation of children including exploitation in the travel and tourism sector Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, etc... We work to prevent child sexual exploitation, protect those children who are in exploitative situations and rehabilitate them, and partner with children and parents, communities, police and government to create protective environments for children
What is Child Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism? Conservative estimates suggest 2 million children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation through child sexual abuse images, trafficking for sexual purposes, and sexual exploitation by tourists and travelers Form of human trafficking: child trafficking occurs when a child has been moved within a country or across borders, whether by force or not, with the purpose of exploiting the child Children experience physical, emotional, and psychological trauma and bare these scars for life often perpetuating cycles of poverty Ex: Story of Ka in Cambodia
Supply and Demand 1.Supply: Developing countries have the highest rates of child sexual exploitation in tourism: Children are vulnerable to sexual exploitation Impunity and corruption Big business Human trafficking has estimated annual profits of approx. US$31.6 billion and is the third largest grossing sector of organized crime after drugs and arms. Sex with a virgin in Cambodia can sell from USD 300 - 700 2.Demand: Increasing demand for sex by regional and international tourists including Canadians 2 types of offenders: preferential offenders and situational offenders
WV’s approach Create a protective environment for children from community level to national level All stakeholders in the community are part of the solution World Vision works in the local communities to educate and to restore and rehabilitate children. World Vision also works with the government and travel industries.
World Vision partners with the Tourism and Travel Industry: Campaigns targeting potential child sex offenders - partnered with US Airways, TAM Brazilian airline - worked in source countries, en route, and in destination country Awareness-raising to general public on what their role is, asking Canadians to travel wisely: Take responsibility for the impact of their own travel by researching hotels and travel companies to ensuring codes of conduct have been signed to protect children Report the exploitation of children – labour, sexual or trafficking – that they witness while abroad (www.cybertip.ca)www.cybertip.ca Deter any travel companions from engaging in such behaviours
Canada’s obligations under international law: 2000: Canada ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, along with the ILO Convention No. 182 (on the abolishment of the worst forms of child labour, including child prostitution) Convention on the Rights of the ChildILO Convention No. 182 2002: Canada ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Trafficking Protocol) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children 2005: Canada ratified the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornographyOptional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography Canada’s Legislation 1997: Bill C-27: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Extraterritorial legsilation: made it a crime to sexually exploit children anywhere in the world) Bill C-27: An Act to amend the Criminal Code 2001: Bill C-15A: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to amend other acts (eliminated the need for double criminality)Bill C-15A: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to amend other acts
A question of implementation in Canada: Canada has all the right laws in place to combat child sexual exploitation of children but has failed to put the resources and political will behind implementing and enforcing its laws. “child sex tourism offences are among the most under-enforced in the entire Criminal Code”, Benjamin Perrin, Law Professor UBC Unclear how many Canadians have committed sexual crimes against children abroad 4 persons convicted under extraterritorial legislation Vs. much higher conviction rates in other countries such as Australia, UK, US Vs. strict limitations on travel for convicted travelling sex offenders Between 1993 and 2008: Canada provided consular service to 150 men to deal with charges of child sexual abuse and exploitation offences laid against them in foreign countries RCMP liaison officers abroad are few and are not given a strong mandate to combat child sexual exploitation in tourism
Travel and Tourism Industry Voluntary Codes: -Code of Conduct for Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (www.thecode.org)www.thecode.org -Tourism companies who adopt the code (voluntary) agree to: 1. To establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children. 2. To train the personnel in the country of origin and travel destinations. 3. To introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of children. 4. To provide information to travelers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films, ticket-slips, home pages, etc. 5. To provide information to local "key persons" at the destinations. 6. To report annually. As of November 2009, 947 companies in 37 countries have signed up, only 2 Canadian companies have signed on: the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and Incursions Voyages (Quebec City)
What steps have been taken by / for Travel Tourism Sector in Canada: -As of 2010, Group of Canadian NGOs working with tour operators and Air Canada to dialogue and create awareness-raising materials for distribution to their colleagues and clients. -Goal is to create a critical mass of informed Canadian travelers and tour operators -Showing an on-flight video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYtAfe213kohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYtAfe213ko -Canada has never had a large public campaign against Child Sexual Exploitation in Travel and tourism. -NGO group is also creating posters in Canadian airports, starting in Quebec alerting travelers that abusing a child in a foreign country is a crime you’ll be held accountable for in Canada. Working to expand campaign to other airports
More Progress Needed in Canada: -Without political will and an increase in resources to tackle this issue, it will be difficult to combat child sexual exploitation by Canadians abroad -Canadians need to be engaged and push the Federal Government to make this a priority and to demand ethical travel of their service providers -Key partner in the fight against child sexual exploitation is the travel and tourism industry -Need greater peer pressure within the industry -Need to see adoption of the code or similar standards
World Vision’s Trauma Recovery Centre Cambodia -Child protection in Cambodia -Girls made vulnerable by the sex trade -Property of brothel owners and bound by debts -May serve up to 10 customers a day -Girls in Crisis Facts -33,000 child sex workers in Cambodia -Have no rights and used as sex slaves -Worldwide estimate that 2 million children are exploited in the sex trade -Trafficking of people has effected an estimated 30 million victims -Estimated 20,000 children are living or working on the streets in Cambodia
World Vision’s Trauma Recovery Centre Cambodia -Cambodia Trauma Recovery Centre is a place of hope for young girls trapped in sexual slavery -Goal is to help girls heal and reunify them with families and reintegrate -Centre offers stays from 6-12 months -Teaches girls their rights and provide nurturing environments -Offer health care -Provide education and vocational training -Arrange foster care or independent living -Conduct awareness sessions to create awareness about “brokers” -Partner with local government
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