Recent research, consultations with NGOs and news on the media indicate the existence of trafficking of children for sexual purposes, including travel and tourism in Turkey. Recent influx of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Turkey coupled with the number of unaccompanied minors registered entering in Europe points to the high risks of child trafficking among this community. However, relevant statistics indicate few child victims of trafficking were reported underlining a need for effective work on identifying potential victims of child trafficking. For the past 10 years there have been some initiatives for combating human trafficking with a very limited attention to child trafficking and prevention mechanisms such as spotting/identifying potential human traffickers and victims, let alone child traffickers and victims.
Turkish authorities have done work on protection of the human trafficking victims, however, work regarding prevention did not go much further than awareness raising campaigns and establishment of a help line. As Turkey is both a target and a destination country for trafficking, prevention activities targeted at both victims and professionals that are likely to come in contact with them is needed. In order to strengthen the preventive dimension of the fight against child trafficking for sexual purposes, activities targeted at hotel and transport professionals that are able to recognize the indicators of trafficking of children for sexual purposes is needed. Additionally special should be given to the refugees, migrants and asylum seekers entering and/or exiting Turkey as they constitute a high risk group.
The overall objective of the action is to contribute to the prevention of child trafficking as a human rights in business imperative with a focus on trafficking of children for sexual purposes through building capacity for tourism and travel industry in Turkey with targeted awareness raising activities.
Specific objectives of the action are (1) establishing a core group of tourism and travel businesses that has established mechanisms to prevent trafficking of children for sexual purposes and protect children from trafficking (2) Raising awareness of the general public about the forms and signs of trafficking of children for sexual purposes in order to create more vigilant passengers and tourists (3) Raising awareness of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees about the possible complaint mechanism and protection measures in order to create a more vigilant and protected community (4) To mainstream child trafficking with sexual purposes in national politics and provoke discussions about the shortcomings of the Turkish law regarding child trafficking with sexual purposes.
Activities, related outputs and results:
Two sets of activities are proposed aiming primarily at preventing child trafficking for sexual purposes. First set of activities concern the preparation and implementation of training of trainers for hotel and transport professionals. Preparation of training materials and introducing the model of training of trainers (ToTs) would incentivize these businesses to continue disseminate the information within their organizations, ultimately becoming a regular part of orientation of their personnel.
Second set of activities concern the preparation and distribution of simple, understandable and effective advocacy materials: First one will focus on signs of child trafficking targeted at passengers and hotel guests. This would result in more vigilant and aware passengers and hotel guests who are reminded that it is everyone’s responsibility to report on these crimes. The second group of advocacy materials are targeted for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers and this group of materials would be prepared in 5 different languages (Turkish, Russian, English, Arabic, and Kurdish). As this is a higher risk group, materials targeted at them would also include information on accessing protection mechanisms and information on victim rights. Third group of advocacy materials, including a policy note would be targeted at Members of the Turkish Parliament. They would be advised through lobbying meetings on the needs for relevant legislative amendments and informed about the need to mainstream child trafficking for sexual purposes in the national agenda.
Target groups and final beneficiaries
Advocacy materials targeted at passengers, tourists will be prepared in consultation with the members of the first three target groups in order to develop most simple and effective material.
Accommodation providers: Prior consultations with TURSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) on possible cooperation in the area of child sex tourism. Several meetings with them hinted to the attitude where relevant business would be more inclined to hide these occurring to keep up with the appearances. Therefore the already sensitive to the importance of these issues. Consequently business who have already signed “The Code” will be approached.
Landline transport professionals: In second place, through cooperation with Hotel Association of Turkey, hotels &accommodation providers in Aegean, Mediterranean and South-Eastern Anatolia regions will be targeted. The regions are both contain areas with dense refugee population and are entry/exit points. It is planned to reach 15 accommodation providers via 3 ToTs. During ICC’s previous work, testimonials from taxi drivers in South-Eastern Anatolia on prostitution and early-forced marriages of refugee children were received. In line with this, regarding the land-line-travel professionals, inter-city bus companies, taxi and Pullman (dolmuş) drivers via taxi and driver associations will be approached. 3 ToTs in 3 regions with approximately 20 participants each will be conducted.
Airline transport professionals: For this target group a cooperation with TAV Airports and its subsidiaries such as TAV security will be approached. The locations of 3 ToTs will be decided through a consultation process.
Passengers and Hotel guests: In general public, this group is more likely to come across child trafficking however they may not recognize the signs and/or may not know where to denounce. Through different advocacy materials they will be reminded of their responsibility to denounce child trafficking when they recognize the signs.
Refugees, migrants and asylum seekers: As a high risk group, specific advocacy material will be prepared in different languages. In addition to indicators of child trafficking for sexual purposes, information about protection mechanisms, victim rights will be placed in advocacy materials. This would, in return, encourage this vulnerable group in denouncing child trafficking. These materials will also include sections targeting children. These sections will be done in consultation with child groups as final beneficiaries in order to develop most effective materials.
Members of the Turkish Parliament: As the Turkish law contains shortcomings when compared with international standards, law makers are targeted in order to start working on overcoming these shortcomings. Moreover, these deputies are more likely to be able to mainstream the issue in national agenda.