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EQUATIONS Submission to Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on the Issue of Child and Tourism
December 01, 2013

call for action
Click here to download 'EQUATIONS Submission to Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on the Issue of Child and Tourism' 65.3kb.

EQUATIONS Submission to Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on the Issue of Child and Tourism

December 2013

Kerala State Tourism policy states the setting up of the Task force against Trafficking and Abuse which should be taken up.

Kerala State Tourism must declare for Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse in Tourism which clearly denounces sexual exploitation of children and commit that tourism and tourist destinations will be child exploitation free zones

Department of Tourism along with the Department of Social Welfare and Labour to come up with State Plan of Action to counter child abuse in tourism & Action Plan to Combat Child Labour in Tourism – coordination with relevant departments and involving all stakeholders including industry, tour operators, travel agents, hotels, local authorities, the judiciary, the police, child rights and other civil society organisations and communities for the protection of children and combating child abuse.

Dept of Tourism to appoint a nodal person for coordination and publish the name and contact details. Department of Tourism to state in their Annual Report every year the incidents uncovered of child sex tourism, the efforts they have taken to combat this and their commitment to make Kerala free from Child Sex tourism.

Department of Tourism to work with different sections of the industry – particularly those where the abuse is most rampant – small, medium, informal as it is in these where the exploitation of children occurs frequently.

To assess efficacy & strengthen existing mechanisms – Childline, CWC, SJPU. Strengthen hotline services by guaranteeing that they have the networks and services callers need. This includes victim protection services as well as police follow-up of required. Guarantee availability of multiple languages so as to accommodate most if not all callers.

Efforts must be made to actively involve the panchayats (elected bodies responsible for administration at district level, usually in charge of local development issues), in monitoring the situation in their areas, including checking children who come into and leave village. A system for record keeping must be created. In addition to that, community-based organizations must work more closely with the police to provide legal assistance to victims and also to ensure that the police systematically lodges each FIR with the relevant details and actively pursues cases.

The tourism industry, tour operators, travel agencies, hotels to join the existing Code of Conduct (www.thecode.org) for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism developed by ECPAT International or the Safe and Honourable Tourism Code developed by Ministry of Tourism.

Fines and penalties should be extremely severe for companies and/ or individuals who are engaged in prohibited behaviour. If a hotel fails to report incidences of minors being brought into the hotel by person other than family members, then the hotel should lose its license. Strict monitoring must also be applied to tour companies if their guides facilitate tourists securing children. The owner and the manager of the hotel or establishment should be held solely responsible for any contraventions.

Running extensive media campaigns to inform tourists that exploitation of children and Child Sex Tourism is not acceptable in the state and country, in partnership with Tourism Industry.
More in-depth studies on the commercial sexual exploitation of boys and girls in the context of tourism is needed to support effective campaigns and interventions against this phenomenon. To engage more with those who work on the issue.

Expand the mandate of tourist police for monitoring and reporting child sex tourism.

Develop information to be given to tourist- translate to multiple languages

Child rights laws and methods of handling child abuse cases also to be specifically included in the Police Training School curriculum. Capacity building of the police, government department and local NGOs to address child pornography would be highly recommended, as there is a lack of such expertise in India and the problem is escalating.

Sensitisation and training of authorities like railway and traffic police, airport authorities, is particularly important so that they are aware of various child rights laws and methods of preventing and handling child abuses related cases

To develop database on exploitation of children in tourism- drawing information from all available sources like police, child line, MWCD, MoL. Information to be shared with agencies like Interpol, Immigration authorities, police etc.

Care facilities and human resources should be made available to adequately support sexually exploited boys. These services must be based on minimum standard of care which is yet to be developed. Moreover greater access to viable alternative livelihood options must be made available to sexually exploited boys.