Minister Collado and First Lady lead ceremony for country’s entry into GARA

The Minister of Tourism, David Collado, and the First Lady and President of the Cabinet of Children and Adolescents, Raquel Arbaje, led the act of entry of the Dominican Republic to the Regional Action Group of the Americas for the Prevention of Child Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, known by its acronym GARA.

The signature of the entry of the Dominican Republic to GARA was signed by Minister Collado and his counterpart Angelita Duarte de Melillo of Paraguay, the country that holds the general secretariat of the international organization, in the presence of the First Lady and other authorities.

The First Lady of the Republic and president of the Cabinet of Children and Adolescents said that no one should be allowed to abuse children and adolescents.

“As president of the Cabinet of Children and Adolescents, as first lady, as a citizen and as a mother, I salute this effort of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ibero-American University (Unibe), Unicef and ECPAT International to advance in the creation of an environment that protects our children and adolescents from the crime of commercial sexual exploitation, pedophilia and pornography,” the first lady said in a speech.

She understands that the whole of society must act as a whole against this problem, “because what is at stake, gentlemen, is the integrity of children and adolescents”.

In his speech, Minister Collado described as transcendental the entry of the Dominican Republic to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which ratifies the country’s commitment to protect children.

“Caring for children and protecting their environment is and will always be our commitment. That is why we are so pleased to sign the country’s entry into such an important organization as GARA,” said Collado.

The official made it clear that the Dominican Republic neither allows, nor will allow, any visitor to abuse children and adolescents.

“I want to tell the men and women who want to come to the Dominican Republic to abuse our children and adolescents not to come. We do not want these predators to come to the country,” Minister Collado stated forcefully.

The Deputy Attorney General, Yenni Berenice Reynoso, said that pedophiles will have to face the judicial authorities, so the entry of the Dominican Republic to the GARA gives a new impetus to this fight.

She indicated that these people must be very clear that the Dominican Republic does not allow its children and adolescents to be victims of sexual exploitation.

For her part, the Minister of Tourism of Paraguay, Angelita Duarte de Melillo, congratulated the Dominican Republic for joining this commitment to help eliminate abuses against children and adolescents in tourist destinations.

GARA is a regional body composed of National Tourism Administrations and International Organizations (IIN – OAS / ECPAT) as observers.

The Ministries and Secretariats of Tourism participating in GARA are committed to develop and promote self-regulation instruments for the tourism industry, both voluntary and binding.

They are also responsible for designing prevention and awareness strategies in a context of inter-institutional collaboration and co-responsibility at the national and regional levels.

Its main objective is also to mitigate the potential risks of using the industry’s infrastructure for the crimes of CSEC-VT and human trafficking.

It is made up of the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and, as a new active member, the Dominican Republic.

Source: Mitur.com

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