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Resource Center
Is India Trying to Subdue Kashmir Through Religious Tourism? 
July 17, 2018
The Indian state under the increasing influence of Hindu nationalism is using Hindu pilgrimage sites..
“Aswachh Bharat” marks Amarnath yatra 
July 15, 2018

Tourism and Plastic: Exploring the Contours 

June 04, 2018
The threat that plastic poses to the health of the planet has been raising alarm bells for some time..
As Women, Are We Really Economically Empowered A view from the point of view of Tourism 
April 10, 2018

Do we enjoy the same quality of life as our male counterparts? How can we, when the figures of women..

Meet the Majid Squad, a Group that Voluntarily Cleans Filth on Amarnath Yatra Routes 
January 29, 2018
Notwithstanding the National Green Tribunal directions, Governor N N Vohra recently decided that a 60-day-long..
  • Key Interventions
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Here you can find the Key Interventions (Campaigns, Events and Other Interventions) related to this Thematic Area. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Key Intervention.


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"Here you can find Resources (Papers, Publications and Presentations) linked to this Thematic Area. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Resource. Please do acknowledge EQUATIONS when quoting from or using these resources in any manner.


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Tourism & Child Pornography-15 May 2010-EQUATIONSIn many ways a key reason for EQUATIONS’ founding was the shameful reality of child abuse in tourism. The incidence of growing child abuse with the growth of tourism in Thailand and other South East Asian countries was already ringing alarm bells among critics of mass tourism in the early 80’s. The efforts of EQUATIONS has been to study the growing links between tourism and the abuse of children- in the forms of, sexual exploitation of children, child pornography and trafficking and child labour. Strong and credible research and strategic networking has helped us ensure that this issue is on the table with policy makers, particularly tourism and child protection, as well as the industry and local communities in tourism destinations. This programme works with clear aim – rid tourism of child abuse.

In 1990, we began researching child prostitution. An early study in Palani Hills made the links between pilgrimage tourism and child prostitution. In 2008, we made this link much more evident in our research study titled Unholy Nexus which focussed on male child abuse in Guruvayoor, Puri and Tirupati. In the intervening two decades however much efforts have been made on the issue, as we describe below.

Tourism and Child Sexual AbuseIn 1989, our paper on Child Prostitution in the context of Tourism, at the Workshop on Child Labour and Tourism, Bhopal drew attention to the links between tourism development in India and the exploitation of children. Until then this was seen to be an issue plaguing only SE Asian countries. Our paper “A contextual view of child prostitution in India” (Sept – Oct issue of Child Asia 1991-92) was presented at the SAARC countries NGO meeting in Kolkata and at Child Labour Action and Networking meeting in Delhi. Another paper (with Rico Norhona) on “Situating the Role of Tourism in Child Prostitution” was presented at a workshop on the issue in Thailand.

In 1991, the issue of child-sex tourism caught media and government attention when six men were accused of sexually abusing children at an orphanage run by Freddy Peats in Goa. They hailed from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Germany. However, it took several years of research and advocacy of groups such as ours to break the myth that child sexual abuse linked to tourism was a phenomenon limited to Goa and isolated to foreign tourists alone.

Rid Tourism of Child AbuseBy 2000-01, the programme came of its own! We began planning interventions, research and campaigns on the issue and actively expanded networking with civil society coalitions and platforms, international organisations like ECPAT, the National Commission for Women (along with Peoples Council for Social justice we were commissioned by them to research commercial sexual exploitation in tourist destinations), UNICEF, Department of Women and Child Development etc.

In 2002 our study on “Coastal Sex Tourism and Gender”, commissioned by the National Commission for Women (NCW) focused on five sites (Kerala- Kovalam, Karnataka – Uttara Kannada, Goa, Tamil Nadu- Mamallapuram and Orissa-Puri). It established the prevalence of child sexual abuse and prostitution in all these tourism destinations.

In 2003, Goa and Kerala were our focus in the research “Situational Analysis of Child Sex Tourism in India” commissioned by ECPAT International. We reported a rise in prostitution and trafficking in women and children for the purposes of sex tourism and labour. In 2004, through our involvement in a rescue operation of trafficked children in a jewellery unit, we published guidelines for such rescue and rehabilitation arising out of this experience. We also worked in 2004 on a study on “Towards Strengthening Rights of Minors and Adolescents in Tourism” commissioned by UNIFEM. This publication provides an overview of the interventions and guidelines that would protect minors and adolescents from exploitation in tourism.

The Goa Children’s Act 2003 (and its amendments in 2006) was the first time that tourism gained mention as a cause for child exploitation. EQUATIONS, along with groups in Goa, welcomed this important move, but kept track of its implementation and the all too common tendency to dilute regulation. In 2006 the Ministry of Labour banned child labour as domestic servants and in the hospitality industry and we have been keeping close tabs on its implementation, which unfortunately, has been far from effective. Our dossier on “Rights of the Child in the context of Tourism” has been in demand from groups all over the country as it puts together perspectives and information from various angles on the exploitation of children.

Tourism and Child LabourEQUATIONS was involved in the process of reforming the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 as a member of the core team at the invitation of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. This process, initiated in 2000, contributed significantly in our expanding our networking with policy level groups on women and children’s issues, as well as activists and organisations working on these issues. We have a continuing engagement with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Tourism and the Planning Commission on various legislations and protocols and policy initiatives that could ensure the protection of children and the ensuring of their rights. The ‘Offences against Child’ Bill’ in 2005, Information Technology Amendment Act 2006, and India’s commitments on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols have been areas of active advocacy and campaigns.

From 2005, we have also been formal members of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purpose (ECPAT) International, a network of organisations and individuals working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children and have collaborated even more closely with ECPAT on the mission to rid tourism of child exploitation, and indeed seek a world where no child is exploited.

Click on the ‘Resources’ tab above to read Child and Tourism related papers, publications and presentations.

Click on the ‘Key Interventions’ tab above to know about Child and Tourism related campaigns, events and interventions.