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Tourism update

AASA and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa work in harmony
AASA is a member of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and holds a Director position on the Board of Directors. TBCSA is the umbrella association representing Travel and Tourism organisations in South Africa. AASA is actively involved in the work of TBCSA. In particular, the current implementation of the new Immigration Regulations promulgated with effect from 26 May 2014 is receiving a great deal of attention from TBCSA. AASA is a member of the sub-committee which is actively working to convince the Department of Home Affairs to postpone the implementation of the Regulations and undertake a full review. The particular matters of concern include the following:

  • The requirement for all children under 18 to obtain and carry and unabridged birth certificate as an additional travel document as well as necessary authority through affidavits from parents giving consent to children to travel when they are not travelling with the children. This requirement will come into effect on 1 June 2015.
  • The requirement for in person application in their home country for biometric visas for all guests wishing to travel to South Africa where visas are required. This requirement is currently in effect.

Anti-child trafficking initiative:
Code of conduct for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industry

On 17 April 2015, AASA proudly signed a pledge to support the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). This is an international industry driven initiative with a mission to provider awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent CSEC and to combat CSEC in the sector. 

The Local Code Representative for South Africa is Fair Trade in Tourism (FTT) and AASA signed the pledge of support with FTT. Through this, AASA will continue to raise its voice against Child Trafficking, and will encourage its members to support this critical and worthwhile cause.

Introduction to The Code

The Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct (“the Code”) is an instrument of self-regulation and corporate social responsibility, which provides increased protection to children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

The Code requires commitment from all levels of the signatory company's business. Almost 1000 companies have already signed the Code of Conduct across the globe.  

The initiative, which started as a project of End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism International (ECPAT) International, has been endorsed by the United Nations-World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) and many national governments. One of the main ECPAT activities is to support the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

More information about anti-child and anti-human trafficking initiatives

Offenders on the move:
Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of children in travel and tourism 2016

Despite 20 years of efforts, the sexual exploitation of  children in travel and tourism (SECTT) has expanded across the globe and out-paced every attempt to respond at the international and national level. The results of the first comprehensive global study on SECTT confirm that no region is untouched by this crim and no country is ‘immune’. In an increasingly interconnected world, more people are on the move and even the most remote parts of the planet are now within reach, thanks to cheaper travel and the spread of the Internet. As a result, the risks of child sexual exploitation are increasing. 

The impact on each individual child cannot be over-stated. For survivors, the legacy can include severe and life-long physical, emotional and psychological damage. As well as consuming its child victims, SECTT also fractures families and local cultures, and undermines the future prospects of entire communities. On the one hand, inaction on this crime can have serious social and economic consequences. On the other hand, effective action must be informed by hard evidence. 

SECTT is, by its very nature, secretive and hidden. Little is known about what is happening and where, about the victims and perpetrators, and, very importantly, about what actually works to stop the abuse. To date, the lack of solid information about this crime, coupled with silence or even tolerance, has kept SECTT far too low on the policy agenda. 

The Global Study on SECTT aims to bring this gross violation of children’s right into the light, and marks the 20th anniversary of the 1st World Congress on the Sexual Exploitation of Children. Guided by a High-Level Taskforce and informed by detailed studies from every region and many countries, as well as contributions from experts and children, the Global Study is the first (and, to date, the only) research initiative on SECTT to explore emerging trends and possible solutions.

Key findings by region: Sub-Saharan Africa

According to data from UN-WTO, tourism in Africa has more than tripled in the last 20 years, and SECTT may be increasing, although empirical data are lacking. Increasingly diverse modes of travel and tourism attract visitors to once remote locations, and foreign direct investment is bringing in unaccompanied male workers. The region is seeing a surge in mobile data use, with mobile internet traffic expected to rise 20-fold by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, traditional norms continue to pose risks for children, particularly their low social status and child marriage. Most countries have ratified relevant international conventions, but commitments have not translated into meaningful action for children and only a small percentage of child victims receive the help they need.

Download the full report here.

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