Roundtable for the Defense of the Rights of Girls, Children and Adolescents in Travel and Tourism.

 

The Tourist Ombudsman summoned various private tourism organizations to a meeting held on Thursday 02 of August through the Zoom platform to expose the need to work together in the protection of Girls, Children and Adolescents in Travel and Tourism (NNAVT), and report on the National Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children's Rights, And Adolescents in Travel and Tourism (C.C.), with the aim of achieving greater adherence, visibility and dissemination of the same. This meeting is part of a strategic plan promoted by the Buenos Aires Tourist Office for the defense of the rights of NNAVT.

 

At the meeting, Lic. Susana Cafaro, Coordinator of the UNWTO Code of Conduct in Argentina by the Tourism Promotion Secretariat of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Nation (MINTUR); Lic. Marcela Bayala, Secretary of the Association of Tourism Business Executives (AFEET);  Cr. Horacio Repucci, Secretary of Institutional Relations for the Argentine Chamber of Tourism (CAT); Gabriela Salvatierra and Natalia Dayé, of the Management of Competitiveness and Tourism Regulation of the Tourism Entity of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires; Mr. Fabian Castillo, Vice President of the Argentine Confederation of Medium Enterprises (CAME); Cr. Fabricio Di Giambattista, vice president of the tourism sector of the Argentine Confederation of Medium Enterprises (CAME); Lic. Javier Vigliero, President of the Buenos Aires branch of the Tourism Hotels Association (AHT); Lic. Daniel Prieto, President of the Hotel Association, Restaurants, Confectioneries and Cafes (AHRCC); Dra. Cintia Bruno, Director of the Executive Direction of Tourist Rights of the Ombudsman's Office of CABA; Dra. Susana Ayala, legal advisor to the Tourist Ombudsman of CABA and Lic. Yamila Cruzans, tourism advisor to the Tourist Ombudsman of CABA.

 

 

The opening was in charge of the Tourist Ombudsman team, whose members thanked those present for their participation and interest. As well, agreed on the importance of meeting to address a very sensitive issue such as the protection of children's rights, And Adolescents in Travel and Tourism (NNAVT), and that is only possible through joint work.

 

Then, through some slides, Dra. Cintia Bruno contextualized the role and functions of the Tourist Ombudsman, as a defense body, protection and promotion of human rights and other individual and collective rights and guarantees, dependent on the Office of the Ombudsman of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

 

As well, He specified his actions in favor of the protection of NNAVT, that since 2009 adheres to C.C., and that continues to carry out work actions through meetings, conferences and graphic material, for the purpose of promoting dissemination campaigns, sensitize, raise awareness and involve all the actors that make up the tourism activity.

 

Then, Dra. Bruno explained about the vulnerability that children suffer, and adolescents, especially in the framework of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the face of increasing poverty, the confinement, the massive migration, the lack of face-to-face classes and the increase in virtuality. In reference to the latter, detailed what grooming is and how to report safely and anonymously, images and online videos of child sexual abuse through the portal of the Public Prosecutor's Office (www.mpfciudad.gob.ar).

 

To end your presentation, reported the shortcomings and obstacles that the Tourist Ombudsman observed in these years of experience in the activity, such as:

  • The complexity of obtaining data, updated official figures and statistics regarding crime; know crimes related to this issue and the entry or movement of children and adolescents in the territory at access and accommodation points.
  • The ignorance of service providers on the subject.
  • The scarce formal adherence to the C.C. in the country. Nevertheless, Through the Network of the National Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children's Rights in Travel and Tourism, it is promoted and works with different organizations to raise awareness, since many have not joined due to lack of knowledge.

 

Then, Lic. Susana Cafaro, who thanked the possibility of generating these meetings for the importance it has to strengthen the work and commitment in the protection of NNAVT. Likewise, highlighted the need for articulation between all the actors that make up the tourism value chain, because nothing can be done alone.

 

Then, Through a presentation he reported on the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children's Rights in Travel and Tourism, an instrument of voluntary adhesion with six normative criteria for companies to, Organizations and professionals of the tourism sector actively cooperate in the defense of minors in the activity.

 

In that sense, the official described the work of MINTUR in relation to the matter, the beginnings and commitment of the body in the protection of minors, and how it fits into the Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls' Rights, Children and Adolescents (N°26.061). He also emphasized the Responsible Tourism Program that they carry out, that fights against child sexual exploitation, child labor and trafficking.

 

Además, Lic. Cafaro explained about the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and adolescents, and detailed the possible scenarios where it is carried out, the circuit and the actors involved, who understand destiny, tourism industry, the host community and the tourist or traveler. Al respecto, He emphasized that all of them must be alerted on the matter and that they must know the protocols when suspecting these events.

 

 

On the other hand, continued Lic. Marcela Bayala, who told about the work of the AFEET. As well, confessed that they were pioneers in the protection of NNAVT, 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 MINTUR (known at that time as the Secretariat of Tourism - SECTUR) appoints AFEET as 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, in which outstanding national and international professionals attended on the subject. From there, 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.

 

At the end of these exhibitions, A debate was generated in which each participant shared the shortcomings that concern them most in the matter and in which they should be deepened. Based on it, joint work actions were planned in favor of children's rights, and adolescents in travel and tourism.