In general, when we speak about human rights, unfortunately, and often, is when we feel that some of our rights have been breached, or we want to formally denounce a violation.
As citizens, we usually endorse the full responsibility of protection to our governments and International Organizations. Although, we should have a role as well, in helping prevent possible violations of human rights.
In the tourism sector a “doing wrong” or “not doing” could cause violations of human rights, if, for example, the sector is not ready to welcome tourist with all four types of disability, does not well protect children from labour or sexual exploitation, discriminate the access to tourism services and facilities due the non-tolerance to gender diversity, or does not respect the intangible cultural heritage of a country. The same as if a tourist is submitted to a denigrated treatment while passing immigration and security controls at airports or in a destination, for naming few examples.
But it is also true that the tourism sector can strongly help to change cultural behaviours and, in some cases, even promote the update of legislation to allow a better protection of human rights. A “golden asset” that must be well taken advantage, as is without a doubt a sector that governments are open to listen due the significant economic benefits that brings to a country.
Therefore, it is key that not only those actors directly involved in the tourism sector take a commitment on this regard, but all citizens, in our role as tourists, so to remember the tourism sector how important they are for the protection of human rights.
For example, today, a significant number of countries worldwide have ratified different international conventions for the protection of human rights, such as: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, etc. But into practice Governments have not asked, in this case, to the tourism sector, to help them accomplish these commitments.
But why is that? What the tourism sector can do?
I invite you to go to the different sections of this Webpage so to be inspire on how this can be done.
Thank you for visiting this Webpage!
Loreto IBANEZ CASTILLO