The state of Pernambuco, which, according to Brazil's Ministry of Tourism, ranks fourth among Northeastern Brazilian states in sexual tourism involving children and adolescents, has begun to take punitive and preventive actions to ban this crime.
The first step was taken Tuesday, April 11, with the inauguration of a campaign by the Brazilian Hotel Industry Association (ABIH). The actions will be carried out in partnership with the Integrated Center of Family Support (CIAF), the Recife Convention Bureau (an entity that organizes tourist events), and a French non-governmental organization linked to the International Network to Combat Sexual Exploitation.
The coordinator of the CIAF, WilsonÂ Lins de OliveiraÂ Júnior, said that, from now on, tourists who come to Pernambuco for the purpose of practicing sexual tourism will discover that the taxi and hotel industries no longer abet the practice.
"This is a type of visitor in which we aren't interested. They hardly spend money in the bar and restaurant sectors, they don't go to shopping centers to buy presents; all they care about is perverted behavior. We want to keep this kind of individual out and make room for family tourists," he emphasized.
He pointed out that countries like Thailand and Indonesia that invested in sexual tourism gained a bad reputation and are now making an international effort to recoup their images.
The campaign includes placing posters in hotel reception areas and rooms with information about the code of conduct that protects children and adolescents. Furthermore, children and youth who sell items on beaches will be given orientations on how to avoid being molested by tourists.
Next Monday, April 17, hotel employees will begin receiving training on how to reject solicitations by guests to act as accomplices in this illegal activity.
Airlines will also inform passengers on international flights bound for the Guararapes international airport, in the state capital, Recife, of the laws to protect children and adolescents.
The Councilor of the Paris Supreme Court, Marne Dominique Vergez, who participated in the inauguration of the campaign, said that a report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) found that the sexual tourists who go to Northeast Brazil are mainly from European countries (such as Italy and Portugal) and are between 20 and 40 years old.