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UNWTO Announces Human Rights/Tourism Initiative

March 16, 2006 By: Frederick Folmer Travel Agent

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Tourism Partnership of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) Thursday announced a joint initiative that will seek to address human rights concerns within the tourism industry. The organizations said the Tourism and Human Rights Initiative would use the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism as the standard that will be reinforced through the adoption of a set of human rights principles for the industry. A statement by the two organizations said that the human rights issues impacting tourism companies are "manifold"; and though some issues, such as health and safety, apply to all firms, a segment-by-segment approach is also needed, since the human rights challenges facing the airline industry are not necessarily those of hotel companies. UNWTO Special Advisor Dawid de Villiers said in a statement that the tourism "needs to take a comprehensive approach to human rights"; the issues and concerns he cited include childed and bonded labor, workplace health and safety, exploitation of children and migrant workers, and discrimination and displacement of indigenous people.

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