Strategies for child protection in tourism implemented

The Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) together with other institutions held a seminar with the objective of creating strategies to sensitize and raise awareness on the prevention of sexual abuse of children and adolescents in tourist destinations.

Participants included representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the National Council for Children and Adolescents (Conani), the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) and the Central Directorate of Tourism Police (Politur).

Patricia Mejía, vice minister of Destination Management of Mitur expressed that there is a determined will to continue in the work tables and the creation of a plan that involves the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, together with two other tourist destinations, as well as to work on the prevention of abuses against children and adolescents.

“These roundtables, in which today we give continuity to previous work, have the purpose of continuing to act in the defense, protection and creation of a protective environment for children and adolescents in all our tourist destinations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Joanna Bejarán, coordinator of the Department of Trafficking and Smuggling of the Attorney General’s Office, stated that one of the main needs is the creation of a national plan of action, which depends on the actors and those who are in the scenario to stop these aggressions, and identify those minors who are abused.

“A plan that we take responsibility for the supervision of the actual execution of the plan, as well as the creation of homes really focused on children who, unfortunately, are sexualized,” Bejarán expressed.

She also indicated that the training of the key actors in the prevention and prosecution of these crimes must continue and that, according to the official, they have not been sensitized to the seriousness of the issue.

On her side, the magistrate Olga Diná, head of the National Directorate for Children, Adolescents and Family, showed the willingness of the Attorney General’s Office to fight “shoulder to shoulder” in every tourist area of the country where there is a risk and threat to each minor and adolescent that affects their integrity.

The seminar also included the participation of Peter De Wannemaeker, coordinator of the Specialized Unit for the Care of Children and Adolescents in Situations of Violence of UNIBE, who presented the conclusions of the report of the First Intersectoral Roundtable; as well as representatives of the Movement for International Self-Development of Solidarity MAIS-ECPAT, who presented the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children and Adolescents against Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code).

There was also an inter-institutional panel on the contributions and challenges faced in the prevention and care of children and adolescents victims of sexual exploitation in tourist areas, with the participation of Unicef, the Attorney General’s Office, Conani, Politur and Unibe.

With the realization of this seminar, Mitur materializes another milestone in the advancement of the protection of children and adolescents in tourist destinations and guarantees the implementation of real solutions, agreed and adopted by all the actors linked to the tourism value chain and by the citizens.

This initiative aims to explore effective solutions and paths towards the resilience and protection of our children and adolescents, as well as to serve as a space for reflection, learning and commitment where a fundamental role is played in the fight against child violence.

Source: Arecoa.com

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