Dec 31, 2009, 12:03 PM
A two-day training seminar on child sex tourism for stakeholders in the tourism sector ended on Thursday at the Baobab Holiday Resort.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Njundu Drammeh of Child Protection Alliance (CPA) called on stakeholders to look into the situation concerning child rights and occurrence of child sex tourism in The Gambia.
According to him, the Child Act is the most important act in The Gambia. He stated that it protects children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation and stipulates stiff penalties for its violators.
Mr. Drammeh noted that as a key feature of the Child Act, research and study on child sex tourism are done in The Gambia with the involvement of Dutch tourists. He added that part of the initiatives to combat child sex tourism includes the existence of a tourism security unit for the betterment of our communities.
He further stated that some of the challenges on child protection are the misconception about child rights and withdrawal of some reporting cases, thus making it difficult to get adequate collaboration.
He noted that to create a protective environment more collaboration with families and children should be ensured to create awareness on the laws guiding child sex tourism.
"The way a society treats its children reflects not only its qualities of compassion and protection caring but abuse its sense of justice, its commitment to the future and its urge to enhance the human conditions for the coming generation," he said.
For his part, Mr. Madi Jorbarteh, CPA's Chairperson described tourism as a major earner for The Gambia but also has its negative effects.
According to him, people should not use tourism as a means of exploitation.
Mr. Muhamadou S. Jallow spoke on behalf of the young people.