The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations is one of the key international legal instruments for safeguarding the rights of nationals of one to another country. This Convention “Has obliged governments” to develop mechanisms to assist and protect their nationals abroad. Nevertheless, as it was approved in 1948, the implementation mechanisms were mainly focused on answering to the needs of nationals living abroad; while, especially since the 1990’s, tourism started to growth and with it the needs for consular assistance and protection of international tourists.
Their needs are diverse, from a loss of passport to their protection, particularly once a violation of their human rights have occurred. But the truth is that the mechanisms in place nowadays are not always effective to assure this protection, mainly for two reasons: length of the stay of the tourist and because the Consular protection mechanisms stop when the tourist live the country where the violation occurred. But is it correct this protection stops? is it not counterproductive with the essence of the Convention? Specially if we consider that when a violation of human rights occurs the pain and the feeling of an unfair or degraded treatment does not disappears once the tourist takes the plane.
This is the situation today, and I am strongly convinced the tourism sector, Ministries of Tourism, could work with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for letting them know the types of problems tourists face once traveling internationally, as I am sure this lack of adaptation is directly linked with the lack of awareness of the particularities of the tourist.