The World Tourism Organization relaunches Protect Children Campaign in November

The Optimist Travel Team

Last updated 9/24/2008 1:01:27 AM

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is relaunching its "Protect Children Campaign” to help eradicate child labour and sexual exploitation in the global travel industry.

The full campaign will take effect on Universal Children's Day at at World Travel Market (WTM) in London in early November.

According to an estimate by the International Labour Organization, 246 million children are engaged in child labour, while millions are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

There is a strong link between the tourism industry and child exploitation in some areas, especially in countries where economic growth has created an enormous demand for child labour.

UNWTO is also concerned about the spiraling growth of sexual exploitation of minors, which is often associated to travel, and tourism.

International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA) has recently confirmed its support of the campaign and will be encouraging members to promote the cause and help raise awareness around the globe.

According to ITTFA president Johan F Lundberg, "I would like to see the industry in general take on more responsibility for the environment and sit down to discuss the various global issues that affect us all, such as exploitation of children. Events are slowly becoming more socially aware and some, such as our ITTFA member show, WTM, now run their own charities and support various social projects”.

On its website UNWTO is advising travellers to refrain from engaging in any form of exploitation of children where child exploitation occurs, report suspicious behaviour and become informed responsible traveller.

UNWTO is inviting the public to spread the word about the campaign by linking their websites to www.unwto.org/protect_children/ and using its campaign logo.

www.unwto.org/ethics