Tourism focus on child exploitation in Southeast Asia

Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013

Southeast AsiaTravellers to Southeast Asia have voiced their concerns over children exploitation and the
need for their protection through tourism industry. This is one of the findings of a new report issued by Project Child Prevention Pillar, an Australian initiative carried out by World Vision in conjunction with the University of Western Sydney.


Last year, well over 36 million tourists journeyed to Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. In all those places, tourists came across children living in dangerously vulnerable
situations. Hence, they raised concerns about the urgent need to guarantee protection of children against the blatant violation of their rights and freedoms.


The findings were published in the study called the “Child Safe Traveller” for which around 270 vacationers from 44 countries were interviewed. The revealing study showed that 95 per cent of travellers encountered local children living in grossly neglected and vulnerable conditions. The miserable sight of the destitute and the neglected children left a great number of tourists feeling disappointed, sad, concerned and guilty.


Around three quarters of the tourists that were interviewed opined that they were well aware of young children who are prone to the ills of exploitation and abuse with regard to tourism and travel. Whereas a great number of the tourists suggested that they were ready to help the vast number of at-risk children, the findings revealed the fact that they were not precisely decided on what measures to take in order to reach the most critical needs of such ignored children.


The study established a number of crucial things. One is them is having the requisite information towards helping these children. It found out that travellers who really cared about the future of such children avoided giving any handouts so as to discourage the begging culture. Further, many sightseers confirmed their commitment towards promoting businesses that did their enterprises within the principals of child safety.

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