Tourism Concern yesterday launched a hard-hitting report, ‘Putting Tourism to Rights’, demanding action to end human rights violations in tourism. The report calls on the UK Government and tourism industry to take steps to ensure that the rights of local people in tourism destinations are protected in line with international law. “While tourism has great potential to create wealth and improve the lives of local communities, our report shows that it is often developed at the expense of human rights. This is particularly true for people who are poor and easy to exploit, often driving them deeper into poverty”, says Tourism Concern.
‘Putting Tourism to Rights’ exposes human rights violations that are perpetrated within the tourism sector, including forced evictions to make way for tourism developments, environmental damage and loss of access to natural resources, exploitation of tribal peoples and their cultures and poor pay or working conditions. The charity calls on the tourism industry to respect and protect human rights in order to make a meaningful contribution to the eradiaction of poverty. The report highlights simple steps the industry can take to help maximise positive benefits to local communities, limit environmental damage and assure good working conditions for employees.
The report’s release marks 21 years of fighting exploitation in tourism by charity Tourism Concern. The organisation can advise on how to travel responsibly and to identify organisations with ethical policies. More info can be found at www.tourismconcern.org.uk