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Dr. Rajashree Ajith Director, KITTS

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1 Dr. Rajashree Ajith Director, KITTS
Sharing of Best Practices in Child Rights and Tourism Kerala Experience Dr. Rajashree Ajith Director, KITTS

2 As the world’s largest industry, tourism affects the communities in which it operates and by extension the children of these communities The First World Congress against commercial sexual exploitation of children, held in Stockholm in 1996 urged participants to "mobilize the business sector, including the tourism industry, against the use of its networks and the establishment for the commercial sexual exploitation of children" and to "promote better cooperation and encourage the establishment of national and international coalition to this effect."

3 Responsible Tourism Initiative
Kerala State launched the Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative in 2007 as a sustainable model of tourism development. The triple bottom line approach of the RT initiative ensures economic, environmental and socio-cultural responsibilities in tourism. The Working Group on Social Responsibility of the State Level Responsible Tourism Committee formed in 2007 sets as one of its guiding principles: Combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, particularly the exploitation of children This was the first time Kerala Tourism took a clear position in addressing child abuse issues

4 Child abuse cases - Kovalam
An Australian Michael Corbett Joseph arrested at Kovalam for child abuse in May 2008 Jacob Spalti arrested from Chowara for reported abuse of male children from a nearby Harijan Colony in October 2008 RT initiative under Tourism Department takes up the issue Multi stakeholder meetings conducted at Kovalam to address the issue Awareness Campaigns developed at Kovalam

5 Campaign Materials on Kovalam Vigil

6 Campaign Materials on Kovalam Vigil

7 The Campaign -Kovalam Vigil
Awareness materials were displayed at Tourism Information Centres The campaign materials were given to major hotels for displaying at reception and rooms Some sections of the tourism industry and local leaders were against the campaign. They argued that: Kovalam would be depicted as a child sex destination by the campaign Major hotels do not support child sex tourism. Such incidents of child sex abuse happens in unregistered homestays

8 Kerala Tourism Policy 2012 The Kerala Tourism Policy 2012 has suggested for the formation of  A Task Force against Trafficking and Abuse with officials from the departments of Social Welfare, Education, Law, Home, Health and Tourism to develop mechanisms and action plans to implement and monitor zero tolerance on trafficking, substance and child abuse in tourism.

9 Responsible Tourism Initiative
KITTS became nodal agency of RT in 2011 RT Initiative takes up child abuse issues as part of Social Responsibility The RT Cell Offices at Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Wayanad, Kumbalanghi and Bekal are instructed to keep a vigil on the issue and report to KITTS RT Classification Scheme – 20 points for adopting policy against child abuse Campaign materials redesigned as Kerala Vigil

10 Campaign Materials – Kerala Vigil

11 RT Strategies to combat child abuse in tourism
Increase the community awareness in affected areas on child abuse and risks factors Develop modules on child rights, abuse and exploitation developed for children and parents Educate the children and their parents of RT destinations  about child rights, abuse and exploitation Community made aware on child abuse and related issues using print and electronic media

12 RT Strategies to combat child abuse in tourism
To ensure that all tourists are made aware of the tourism industry's zero tolerance of child abuse, the relevant laws and penalties Information made available for tourists through catalogues, advertisements, brochures, short films Review of existing policies, regulations and laws including those related to tourism industry to identify its comprehensiveness in combating child abuse

13 RT Strategies to combat child abuse in tourism
To involve private tourism sector to play a proactive roles in combating child abuse Build awareness among tourism industry on child abuse and their role in combating it Ensure a policy/code of conduct developed to eliminate child abuse as per RT Classification Scheme Design RT destination based surveillance mechanism in association with tourism industry

14 Thank You

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