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UNICEF Representative in Tanzania, Ms. Maniza Zaman’s opening remarks at the dissemination workshop of the study on the Impact of the Tourism Industry on Children and Communities in Zanzibar Zanzibar, Hotel Verde, 21 June 2018

UNICEF Representative in Tanzania, Ms. Maniza Zaman’s opening remarks at the dissemination workshop of the study on the Impact of the Tourism Industry on Children and Communities in Zanzibar
Zanzibar, Hotel Verde, 21 June 2018

Hon Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo,
Principal Secretary, Bi Khadija Bakari
Representatives of all Ministries and institutions of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Representatives of the Tourism industry, of Zanzibar civil society and colleagues in development,

Assalam aleikum
I would like to thank you all for joining us at this event today, where we are gathered to present the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study on the Impact of the Tourism Industry on Children and Communities in Zanzibar. This study has been commissioned by UNICEF together with the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Heritage, the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, and the Zanzibar Association for Tourism Investors (ZATI) and executed by Bureau Wyser and the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA).
I would like to extend a personal thank you to the Honorable Minister Mahmoud Thabit Kombo for his presence here today and for championing the cause of a more responsible and child-friendly tourism sector.
With almost half of the population (49%) under the age of 18 we believe it is imperative for all stakeholders in Zanzibar to focus on the wellbeing of children.  UNICEF has been working in Zanzibar since 1985, steadily growing our support in health, education, water sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, HIV/AIDS and child protection. 
The study being shared with you all today recognizes that tourism plays a unique role in the economy of Zanzibar (I’m sure the minister will tell us more about this shortly) and has the potential to bring great benefits to children and their communities, but also, as evidenced around the world, to introduce negative aspects that, if left unchecked, bear harm to children and in the longer term can negatively impact the image of Zanzibar as a tourist destination. 
Reflecting its participatory methodology, the findings to be presented are a combination of perceptions and information gleaned from tourists, general managers of hotels, their staff, local businesses, community members and most importantly children. 
Besides the discussion on the findings, today we have also invited Tourism businesses to present in the exhibition space outside examples of the good practices they are already implementing, in terms of their labour conditions and/or interactions with community – which we encourage you to visit during the social break.

Given our mandate, the situation of children in Zanzibar is a concern for UNICEF,
-          According to Zanzibar’s Office of Chief Government Statistician, 35% of children aged 0-17 live below the poverty line of Tsh 53,377 per month.  In addition, there are severe inequities between districts, between the 2 islands of Unguja and Pemba and between urban and rural areas.   In Micheweni District in Pemba, 7 out of 10 children are poor.
-          Besides monetary poverty, Zanzibari children also suffer multi-dimensional deprivations in different sectors.  While Zanzibar has experienced improvements in a number of social and human development indicators in recent years, a number of key deprivations for children remain:
-          There has been little or no improvement in neonatal mortality in the last 10 years and 28 babies out of 1,000 live births die in their first month.
-          Despite progress made, almost a quarter of all children in Zanzibar are stunted, meaning that children are not growing at the rate they should, due to poor nutrition. This has a permanent effect on their physical and mental development and cognitive abilities.
-          We are concerned about the estimated 140,000 children currently out of school and the limited options they have to pursue their studies for future employment.  Whilst free basic education has improved enrolment rates, still only 34.6% of children have access to pre-primary education which is vitally important to establish a solid foundation for children.
-          Inadequate access to safe drinking water combined with poor hygienic practices are directly responsible for chronic malnutrition in children and for the high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases (one of the three most common child diseases). They have also contributed to the two recent cholera epidemics in 2015/16 and in 2017, with over 4,000 cases and 72 deaths.
-          Poor sanitation in schools is also alarming with 164 primary school students having to share 1 toilet, while international standards talk about 45 students per 1 toilet.
-          Violence against children occurs in homes, neighbourhoods and schools. 1 in 10 boys and over one in 20 girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18. Over 7 out of 10 children in Zanzibar experience physical violence in childhood. 
-          In 2017, 49.5% (123) of new HIV infection and 1/3 of HIV related deaths affected children and adolescents.
UNICEF, other UN agencies, NGOs and civil society partners are working together with the government to improve this situation and contribute to human development.

How can the tourism sector play a part to redress this situation?
One way is to ensure that our children are better protected from all potential risks involved with tourism activities, particularly child labour, exposure to drugs, sexual exploitation and violence.  Children should also be better protected - and this is something that comes across in the study – from the perceived cultural degradation that communities associate with tourism. 

However, protection is not the only concern for children, as the Tourism Sector can also contribute to:
-          Guarantee that the economic benefits of tourism, which so many families depend on for their livelihoods, are equitably distributed to local tourism workers and communities
-          Put in place quality education opportunities so that the current generation of Zanzibari children can partake in - and even lead - the tourism sector as it continues to grow
-          Mitigate the environmental impact of tourism – particularly on local water supply, environmental pollution and fish stocks.

Globally, UNICEF has facilitated the development of Children’s Rights and Business Principles – which support the private sector to identify actions that all businesses should take to respect children’s rights – to prevent and address any adverse impact of business on children’s lives - that includes preventing child labour, ensuring decent jobs for young workers, parents and caregivers, child security and safety in all business processes, respect of children rights in environment and land acquisition and use, and reinforce community and Government efforts to protect and fulfil child rights.    
Countries and sectors can adapt these overarching principles to their context.  Zanzibar has an opportunity to do something unique at this juncture in order to continue to grow its Tourism Sector while protecting and promoting the future generations of Zanzibaris.
We wish to see Tourism benefits work in the interests of Zanzibari children, and for this to happen private sector, government and communities must work hand in hand. 
The findings of the study will allow us to plan actions based on a deeper understanding of the positive and negative impacts of the Tourism Industry on Zanzibar communities and their children. These findings will help each of us to rethink our role according to our position in the sector… because everyone has a part to play. 
The experience of other countries around the world offers key lessons that it is opportune for us to consider today: 
-          That prevention is key, hence the importance of looking at matters such as child protection & environmental protection.
-          That the solutions to addressing the negative impacts of tourism require the concerted involvement of all of us.  Indeed, the study reveals a situation of poor communication, general disconnection and competition between communities, tourism industry and local government.
-          That more attention should be focused on ensuring distribution of economic benefits to the local tourism workers and communities.
We call on the Government to: - strengthen its child protection measures; - support education programmes to increase the number of highly skilled Zanzibaris in the tourism sector; - engage in collaborative dialogue with the private sector and communities; - monitor adherence to the Children’s Act (2011) and the Employment Act (2005); and - simplify the complexity of the current tax system as it pertains to the tourist sector. 
We urge the private sector to: - ensure compliance with labour laws, including paid maternity leave, time for breastfeeding and paid leave; - implement children’s and human rights policies within their companies; - play a role in preparing young Zanzibaris to grow professionally within the sector; - deepen their linkages with communities and local suppliers; and -promote adherence to the Tourist Code of Conduct. 
As UNICEF, we wish to support the active engagement of all stakeholders, namely the private sector, communities and government, and we stand ready to serve as conveners, to facilitate discussion and build bridges between different camps in order to overcome our differences. We stand ready to support the thinking to develop a common approach for the betterment of children’s lives.
Your presence at this workshop today represents one more step in this direction and shows that dialogue and collaboration are truly possible.
Once again, I thank you all for being here today and I invite his Honorable Minister Mahmoud Kombo to officially open this event.

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