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Press Release

Human rights matter – also in tourism!

On December 10, 1948, the UN general assembly agreed to Resolution 217 A, the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. Today, 70 years later, human rights are still being violated in many parts of the world – also in the tourism industry.

A delicious buffet for breakfast, colourful drinks at the pool, 24/7 service, a white beach and the blue ocean… This is how many imagine a relaxing holiday. “However, behind the scenes it is often not as idyllic”, Cornelia Kühhas, tourism expert at Naturefriends International (NFI) explains. “A lot of times staff works under precarious conditions, sexual exploitation is a common problem, tourism projects are decided without free, prior and informed consent, locals have to leave their villages due to tourism development, natural resources are being exploited, …”

The power of travellers
However, what can I do as a traveller? How can I find a tour operator which respects human rights? Two short videos by Naturefriends Internationale get to the heart of the issue and give answers to those questions: The explanatory videos “Human rights in tourism” and “Respect children’s rights – in tourism too!” give examples why and how tourism affects human and children’s rights, what travellers can do and how tour operators can act responsibly. (Link to the videos)

For a tourism benefiting everyone
Naturefriends International – respect has been advocating for sustainable tourism development for many years – a tourism respecting nature and humans equally. 2012, together with other NGOs and tour operators, the “Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism” was founded; a multi-stakeholder initiative to promote human rights in tourism. The Roundtable acts as a driving force and open platform for those companies, organisations and institutes acting according to the “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”.

14 tour operators, as well as the travel associations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, have joined the Roundtable so far. They are committed to embed human right standards within their business processes and additionally to raise awareness about respecting human rights among customers, partner companies and staff. More information about the “Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism” and its members can be found here.

 

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Press Release