Tourism February 22, 2024 | 9:23 am

Joint efforts to combat child sexual abuse in Santo Domingo’s tourism sector

Santo Domingo.- Seventy stakeholders from various sectors, including the tourism industry, child and adolescent protection systems, private sector, and civil society in Santo Domingo’s Colonial City, have joined forces to raise awareness about preventing sexual abuse of children and adolescents in tourist destinations.

In collaboration with UNICEF, the Attorney General’s Office, CONANI, UNIBE, and POLITUR, this initiative stems from the outcomes of the 1st Intersectoral Roundtable for the creation of Protective Environments in Travel and Tourism, conducted in November 2023.

Patricia Mejía, the Vice Minister of Destination Management at the Ministry of Tourism, expressed a strong commitment to continue working on creating protective environments for children and adolescents in tourist destinations. She emphasized the ongoing efforts to develop a comprehensive plan involving Santo Domingo’s Colonial City and two other tourist destinations.

Judge Olga Diná, Head of the National Directorate of Children, Adolescents, and Families, highlighted the Attorney General’s determination to combat risks and threats to minors in every tourist area.

The initiative seeks effective solutions for the resilience and protection of children and adolescents, providing a space for reflection and commitment to fight against childhood violence.

The seminar featured presentations by Peter De Wannemaeker, coordinator of the Specialized Unit for Attention to Children and Adolescents in Situations of Violence of UNIBE, and representatives from the Movement for the International Self-Development of Solidarity MAIS-ECPAT, who presented the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Girls, Boys, and Adolescents against Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code).

An inter-institutional panel discussed contributions and challenges in preventing and caring for children and adolescents facing sexual exploitation in tourist areas, involving UNICEF, the Attorney General’s Office, CONANI, POLITUR, and UNIBE.

Joanna Bejarán, coordinator of the Trafficking Department of the Attorney General’s Office, emphasized the need for a national action plan, responsible execution, and the creation of focused homes for victimized children.

By hosting this seminar, MITUR demonstrates a significant step forward in protecting children and adolescents in tourist destinations, ensuring the implementation of agreed-upon solutions by all stakeholders in the tourism value chain and the wider community.

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Senor Hemp
February 22, 2024 9:55 pm

Talk is cheap, Hopefully one day they will actually do something to curb this disgraceful problem.