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Canadian tourists called on to travel wisely to their Caribbean holidays

Trying to educate Canadian travellers on the impact the holidays in the Caribbean they book have on local children, World Vision has called on them to be more aware of children's protection policies and codes of conduct at the hotels in which they stay.

Canadian tourists called on to travel wisely to their Caribbean holidays

Educating parents and children alike and giving them some food for thought during their Caribbean holidays; this National Child Day many were told to look about the wider environment and what it was like to be a child in those poorer countries. During Canada's National Child Day, last Saturday, 20th November 2010, World Vision called on Canadians to consider the millions of trafficked and exploited children around the world when they plan their Caribbean holidays.

Topping the list of favourite getaways for Canadians are Mexico holidays, Costa Rica holidays and Dominican Republic holidays. Unfortunately, these countries also find themselves topping the list of countries with high numbers of travelling child sex offenders and high rates of child trafficking.

While tourism boosts economies, it also creates a platform for trafficking and the abuse of vulnerable children. So World Vision is asking Canadians (and in this case we also urge worldwide and UK travellers to bear this in mind) to:

  • Take responsibility for the impact of their own travel by researching hotels and travel companies to ensuring codes of conduct have been signed to protect children.
  • Report the exploitation of children - labour, sexual or trafficking - that they witness while abroad (cybertip.ca).
  • Deter any travel companions from engaging in such behaviours.

"Planning family vacations is an exciting and energizing time. We are quick to hunt for great deals but are oblivious to the issues within the countries we visit. Often, we are responsible for creating a platform for vulnerable children to be abused or trafficked. 'Ignorance is bliss' will no longer suffice as an excuse," said Caroline Riseboro, VP, Public Affairs, World Vision Canada.

World Vision has been combating child trafficking, forced child labour and the sexual exploitation of children for more than a decade in overseas projects. The agency works in nearly 100 countries where they do relief, development and advocacy with local communities.

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