La agencia de cooperación alemana EED-Tourism Watch, la ONG suiza AKTE y la ONG británica Tourism Concern, todas ellas parte de la red Tourism European Network han publicado un documento breve pero importante llamado Putting Tourism to Rights, A Call for a Human Rights Approach in Tourism» 6 pags. en PDF) en el que se emplaza a la Organización Mundial del Turismo, gobiernos nacionales, inversores, touroperadores y otras empresas turísticas a tener más en cuenta los Derechos Humanos en el turismo.
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Tourism’s image is mainly positive. It is considered to create jobs, to bring in foreign exchange, to help alleviate poverty and to contribute to world peace and a cosmopolitan consciousness. Developing countries in particular, many of which are indebted and faced with high unemployment, promote tourism as a panacea, and thus offer cheap labour and pristine landscapes.
However, while generating income, tourism often undermines the rights of people in the tourist destinations. This includes the fundamental rights of those who hardly participate in tourism and receive no benefits from it, but whose lives are affected by its impacts. In the name of tourism, people are discriminated against, their freedom of expression is curtailed and their participation in decision-making processes is obstructed.
The families of farmers and fishermen are dispossessed, indigenous communities are displaced and children sexually exploited. Last but not least, global tourism accelerates climate change, thus globalising its impact on human rights. Climate change also affects people in parts of the world where hardly any tourism happens.