XII Annual Meeting of the Regional Action Group of the Americas (GARA – Grupo de Acción Regional de las Américas) for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism
GARA held its annual meeting on 13-15 November 2019 in Asuncion, Encarnacion y Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The meeting was hosted by the government of Paraguay and attended by the representatives of the Ministries and Institutes of Tourism from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Two new countries – Guyana and Salvador – joined GARA. ECPAT International and the Inter-American Children´s Institute (IIN-OAS) acted as Observers.
A video message was delivered from Mr. Manuel Butler Halter, the UNWTO Executive Director, to praise GARA for their work in preventing child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. He reaffirmed UNWTO’s commitment to prevent this crime and stressed that the recently adopted UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics, once ratified, will offer a binding tool for all governments and the travel and tourism sector to protect children.
As part of the Plan of Action 2018-2020, GARA approved and resolved, among other action points, to:
About GARA: Since 2006, the Regional Action Group of the Americas (GARA – Grupo de Acción Regional de las Américas) has enhanced cooperation and coordination efforts in the region, focusing on raising awareness and delivering trainings to prevent the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. It is currently composed of 16 Ministries, Institutes and Secretariats of Tourism from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Salvador and Uruguay. The Inter-American Children´s Institute (IIN) – the Specialized Organization of the Organization of American States (OAS) on children and adolescents – and ECPAT International have an observer status with GARA.