Virtual Day for the Protection of the Rights of Girls, Children and Adolescents.

 

The Tourist Ombudsman of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires organized on Monday 04 of October a virtual day called: "Kids, And Adolescents: Protection of your Rights in Travel and Tourism ”which was carried out through the Zoom platform. The objective of the meeting was to provide tools and strategies for the defense of the rights of Girls, Children and Adolescents in Travel and Tourism (NNAVyT), and promote actions aimed at guiding, disseminate and sensitize their protection against the vulnerability they may suffer and that has been increased by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

For that, Officials from national and international public agencies of the tourist activity were summoned who exposed, from their perspectives, the commitment assumed when adhering to the Code of Conduct for the Protection of NNAVyT (C.C.). As well, It was reported how this issue is addressed in the private sector through the testimony of the AFEET, pioneering association in the field, and the implementation of protocols in the hotel sector was explained through the example of the Hotel Saint George de Misiones.

 

It was intended for personnel of the Tourist Ombudsman's Office and the Ombudsman's Office of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires; teachers and students of tourism careers; officials of public and private organizations linked to tourism activity, consulates and embassies; and the general public. The day, in which more than 50 enrolled, had two interpreters from Argentine Sign Language (LSA), inclusion modality to allow communication and understanding among all.

 

This activity was carried out by virtue of the objective outlined and the strategic activities developed by the Tourist Ombudsman's Office and in the context of the “International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Women, Girls and boys", commemorated on 23 of September, and the "International Day of Tourism" and the "National Day of the Rights of Girls, Children and Adolescents ", both the 27 of September.

 

The words of welcome were in charge of the Director of the Executive Direction of Tourist Rights, Dra. Cintia Bruno, who highlighted the importance of becoming aware of the situation of vulnerability in which the tourist finds himself and that increases in the case of children, and adolescents. For this reason, The Tourist Ombudsman works together with public and private organizations on this issue. La Dra. Bruno added that the Tourist Ombudsman adhered to the Code of Conduct in 2009. Since then,  It is developed in the protection of the rights of children and adolescents in tourism, articulating and carrying out awareness and prevention actions together with other institutions related to tourism and human rights.

 

Then, Lic. Susana Cafaro spoke about the lines of action of the Responsible Tourism and Childhood Program of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Nation (MINTURDEP). As Coordinator of the Code of Conduct in Argentina by the Tourism Promotion Secretariat of MINTURDEP, stressed that at the beginning of 2008 This code was implemented with the main objective of introducing the theme in the tourism sector and eradicating three problems: sexual exploitation of children and adolescents; child labor and unregulated adolescent labor; and human trafficking.

 

In that sense, Lic. Cafaro emphasized that MINTURDEP seeks to articulate with public and private organizations because the violation of the right is seen and strengthened if there is not enough commitment to carry out a responsible management. Likewise, highlighted the importance of communication, information and complaint, sensitizing all stakeholders through the C.C. As well, the official encouraged to take actions within the framework of the ethical position; raising awareness of staff and suppliers, publicizing public policies to articulate with different areas.

 

The specialist reported that it is trying to continue adding the companies through the commitment act in which the responsibility of managing through the C.C is assumed. accompanied by MINTURDEP in the process. Through her, all staff are trained and companies show their progress through a self-assessment. And he added that the commitment is being worked on jointly at the regional level., because they are transnational crimes and especially in the post-pandemic present.

 

 

Then, Lic. Gabriela gomez, representative of the Management of Competitiveness and Tourism Regulation of the Tourism Entity of the Autonomous City of Buenos, who explained the functions of his body, created in 2007 in order to design and implement policies and promote the development of tourism through a strategic activity in CABA. He mentioned the work carried out by the General Directorate of Tourism Development on the exploitation of girls, Children and adolescents, after having signed the C.C. en 2012,  by signing agreements and training to achieve preventive actions.

 

Al respecto, Lic. Gómez said that they carry out joint actions with INNOVATUR; and specific actions such as the Registry of Tourism Providers, through the design of an engagement letter (according to the law 600/2001 Y 2443/2007) to be subscribed by the providers, also informing the telephone numbers to make complaints. As well, mentioned the programs "Tourism in emerging neighborhoods" and "Tourism in schools", in which the community is educated and trained on tourism for its integration into the sector. Regarding legislation, follow the parliamentary status of the tourist accommodation law, and regulations regarding the protection of children and adolescents.

 

 

Lic. Marcela Bayala, Secretary of the Association of Tourism Business Executives (AFEET), who described the work of his agency as a pioneer in the protection of children, and adolescents in travel and tourism, because between the decade of the years 80 Y 90 they were already working on it. Stop now 1998, participated in a congress in Mexico organized by the International Federation of Associations of Executives of Tourism Companies (FIASEET) in which he was informed and trained on the matter.

 

Since then, AFEET developed campaigns to provide dissemination tools, prevention and awareness. As well, organized national forums to promote commitment strategies to institutions. At 2002, the MINTURDEP (known at that time as the Secretariat of Tourism - SECTUR) appointed AFEET as the nexus of the World Tourism Organization (IN ORDER TO), in recognition of his trajectory in the defense of NNAVT. At 2004, the III Forum on the Protection of Children was held, And Adolescents in Travel and Tourism, held in the National Senate, In Buenos Aires city, from which a bill was drawn up, symbol of the real commitment of the authorities in the design of protection and prevention strategies.

 

Likewise, Lic. Bayala said that various agreements were signed with MINTUR, among them, He was given the task of training trainers through an intensive five-day course taught by specialists who teach the aspects related to the subject.. The Lic. Bayala admits that this year, due to the pandemic, it was done virtually, what allowed to have more relatives, achieving more than two hundred subscribers from all over Argentina and foreigners.

 

 

On the other hand, la Sra. Claudia Cabral, Head of People Management and Sustainability at Hotel Saint George, Misiones province, He spoke about the good practices that they implement in relation to the C.C., to which they joined in 2014. As a means of protecting girls, Children and adolescents, they corroborate the filiation of all children under 18 years that attend the hotel.

 

La Sra. Cabral admitted that at first they had doubts as to whether this would involve a bad association of fate., expedited check in, if it could annoy or offend guests or that staff does not incorporate it into their routine. Nevertheless, this action resulted in a positive image of the hotel, in customer loyalty, since they associated it with a good cause.

 

After the interest and commitment of its employees in the matter, A manual was developed and training sessions were held for neighboring accommodations to provide them with the necessary tools to contribute to the cause.. Thus, a network of certified hotels was created. After a study carried out up to 2020, near 18.571 children were reached and protected by this policy and the 91% of guests said that this initiative adds value to their stay.

 

 

Then, la Sra. Veronica Aguilar Diaz, Head of the Local Development Unit of the Development Sub-Directorate of the National Tourism Service (SERNATUR), Chile; He exhibited his work in relation to C.C. as public policy in your country, expressing that they are working on it by linking with other agencies.

 

Likewise, explained about the "National Tourist Awareness Program" that they carry out to protect girls, children and adolescents based on:

  • Participation in national and international work tables, namely:
    • Worst Forms of Child Labor Table,
    • Intersectoral Table on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, And Adolescents (ESCNNA);
    • Intersectoral Table on Human Trafficking. They make strategic alliances with the Investigative Police and participate in the Regional Action Group of the Americas (COMPETITION) for the prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of NNAVyT;
  • Training actions for tourism service providers; held once a month with the Police.
  • The implementation of the C.C., whose membership in Chile is voluntary. For that reason, They are looking for them to sign it by sending a letter from SERNATUR: To the date 56 companies have adhered.

 

Además, The official warned that in her country, specifically, they have a series of challenges to overcome in relation to the protection of minors. Among them, highlighted how little knowledge there is about the subject and the fear of talking about it; the increase in tourism and its weak legislation; growing and accelerated connectivity; the little training that human resources have in CSEC ; and growing and rapid migration.

 

 

Finally, Lic. Pilar Molina, General Secretary of Management of the Public Guardianship Ministry (MPT) of the City of Buenos Aires exposed on the protective actions of the childhood and adolescence in the Tourist Activity. To put your explanation in context, reported the functions and scope of action of the MPT, through the guardian advisor, both in the judicial function guarding the individual and collective rights of minors,  as well as acting in the extrajudicial sphere, giving advice.

 

The Lic. Molina confessed that the challenges must be renewed today to keep up with the changes. Al respecto, offered to train providers when they register in the Registry of Tour Operators developed by the Tourist Board, because they do individual accompaniment in specific cases where irregular acts are seen.

 

 

As well, The official suggested redoubling the commitment to the effort made and including key strategies such as developing dissemination pieces aimed not only at adults but also at children., with self-care proposals and with the means of contact to ask for help.  Además, invited to question what happens to children as inhabitants but also as tourists in other destinations, in student tourism or on their first trips without parents. In that sense, promoted specific training for tourism providers linked to children on their rights, care guidelines, violence, consumption, among others.

 

At the end of the exhibitors panel, Dra. Susana Ayala and Lic. Yamila Cruzans, advisers in Law and Tourism respectively of the Tourist Ombudsman's Office, were in charge of the space for questions and reflection. La Dra. Ayala stressed the importance of not being afraid of the unknown when the objective is the protection of girls, Children and adolescents; who should be prepared to know how to protect themselves. Además, encouraged to seek a visualization methodology and implement protocols, self-managed courses, and have knowledge of who are the referents who could be resorted to. The Lic. Molina interrupted to explain that there are methods to generate references within the clubs, posing as an analogy for tourist providers.

 

The Lic. Cruzans stressed the importance of everyone being committed to the cause, from the top management of companies to personnel who have direct contact with tourists. As well, promoted that from the homes talk with the boys, to reassure them that they can speak without fear. It was concluded by thanking both the exhibitors and the participants, and the predisposition of the Tourist Ombudsman was shown in everything related to the protection of the rights of girls, Children and adolescents.