“Tourism brings important development opportunities around the world, but also many challenges, including the unacceptable issue of child exploitation,” said UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Taleb Rifai, commenting on the appointment of a new chair for the World Tourism Network on Child Protection.
UNWTO announced that Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director of UNICEF (1995-2005), is the new chair of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection. Ms. Bellamy starts her tenure at the Network’s 30th meeting in connection with ITB Berlin in March 2015, where the Network’s agenda for the coming year will be established.
Ms. Bellamy joins the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection after leading UNICEF for ten years and with several decades’ experience of holding top positions in the private and public sector. Upon leaving her position at UNICEF in 2005, Ms. Bellamy had more than doubled the fund’s resources while child mortality and child diseases had decreased significantly and a greater number of children were enrolled in schools than ever before.
“I am very happy to take on the important task of chairing the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection” said Ms. Bellamy. “Preventing youth exploitation in tourism, such as child labour or trafficking, can only be done in cooperation with a broad range of stakeholders and I look forward to advancing this important platform together with its members,” she added.
“On behalf of UNWTO, I am very happy to welcome Ms. Bellamy as the new Chair of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection. I am confident that her invaluable experience will further strengthen the Network, and I look forward to working closely with her in order to prevent, fight, and ultimately try to eradicate child exploitation in the tourism sector,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.
In recent years, Ms. Bellamy has led the non-profit, international educational organization World Learning as CEO and President, and chaired the Board of Directors of Global Partnership for Education, supporting children’s education in the world’s poorest countries. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the first global effort to support local, community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremist agendas.
UNWTO’s work in the field of child protection
UNWTO’s work to eradicate exploitation of children in tourism spans more than fifteen years, principally through the World Tourism Network on Child Protection. With the mission to prevent all forms of child and youth exploitation in the tourism sector, including sexual exploitation, child labour and child trafficking, the World Tourism Network on Child Protection serves as a platform for tourism stakeholders to exchange experiences and promote the adoption of responsible policies and business practices. The Network’s meetings are held annually at ITB Berlin, one of the world’s foremost travel fairs.