Phnom Penh – September 23, 2015: Cambodia expects to welcome 7.5million international tourists by 2020 generating approximately $5 billion in revenue and one million jobs. The rapid growth of tourist arrivals also raises concern about the negative impacts tourism can have on children.
Through the Child Safe Tourism project, World Vision has trained tour agencies and provincial Department of Tourism staff to promote child safe tourism practices. World Vision has also been working closely with the Children Safe Tourism Committee to implement measures to prevent child exploitation in tourism.
On Wednesday 23 September 2015 the Ministry of Tourism and World Vision will host a forum about child safe tourism practices. Officials from 15 provinces and representatives from other organisations actively engaged in combating sexual abuse and exploitation of children in tourism around Cambodia will attend.
The meeting will be hosted by H.E Horn Sarun, Under Secretary of State at Ministry of Tourism and Chairman of the Child Safe Tourism Committee. Key achievements from the projects will be presented and partners will discuss challenges and recommendations moving forward.
“Through the Child Safe Tourism project, Government officials are better equipped to protect children and ensure that they benefit from the progress in tourism sector,” HE Hor Sarun said. “In view of the new challenges and opportunities for tourism in Cambodia, it is key that together, we are making efforts to make Cambodia a great place for responsible tourists.”
HE Hor Sarun, will announce the recent developments of the child safe tourism committee at national levels. His Excellency Pol Pithey and the Director of the Police Department for Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection will lead a session on police interventions on sex trafficking. HE Yim Vireak, Under Secretary of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking will also present on the group’s work.
World Vision’s Associate Operations Director Vireak Leng said that it is important to continue collaborating on the protection of children in tourism. “Bringing stakeholders together to prevent children experiencing abuse in the travel industry is key,” Mr Leng said.
“The more the Government officials share this information, the more we can ensure that Cambodia’s children are protected from sexual abuse.”
Recently, Angkor Temple was awarded the top Landmark in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2015, with the publicity surrounding this announcement it is expected that more tourists will visit Cambodia.
Notes to Editor:
World Vision’s Child Safe Tourism project works with governments and communities to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual exploitation in travel and tourism through education, training, public campaigns, and strengthened child helplines. For more information on Child Safe Tourism, visit: www.childsafetourism.org