Save the Children Fund's Menéndez. Save the Children Fund's Menéndez.

Child sex tourism links seen with industry

Save the Children Fund in Mexico says networks operate in four states

Child sex tourism networks are operating in four states and have links with the travel and tourism industry, the Mexico chapter of the Save the Children Fund charged yesterday.

The networks exist in popular resort destinations in Guerrero, Jalisco, Quintana Roo and Baja California, where local tourism operators often work with them, said María Josefina Menéndez Carbajal, Mexico director of the international non-governmental organization.

She said it is one detail makes it dangerous work to investigate and create a detailed map of child sexual exploitation areas.

“We know there is data that indicates 22,000 boys and girls are linked to commercial sexual exploitation. We know there is a growing demand for children in certain tourist areas,” Menéndez told the newspaper Reforma in an interview.

She said the organization has proposed an ethics code for the travel and tourism sector to address the issue among foreign tourists. “There are some special recommendations in that regard for tourists from Canada and the United States.”

Menéndez observed that social and financial conditions in Mexico appear to be behind growth in the sexual exploitation of minors.

The deputy secretary for tourism planning and policy at the federal Tourism Secretariat, or Sectur, made an open call to all industry service providers to report instances of child sex tourism.

“We’ve worked at training business owners and their staff, and we’re working with the states in helping them detect and report this type of crime,” said Teresa Solís Trejo.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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