Sports and Youth Minister Chishimba Kambwili has warned of stern action against any institution engaging in child sex tourism ahead of the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference.
Mr Kambwili said this in a speech read on his behalf by Youth Development Director, Collins Mulonda at the launch of the Campaign Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth in Tourism (CASECIT) in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Kambwili noted with sadness that some anti-social behaviors and other vices have crept into the tourism sector such as one aspect of tourism called child sex tourism.
He said the scourge involves tourists coming into the country mainly to have sex with children and youths which stands as the worst form of sexual exploitation in the country.
Mr Kambwili said the government is against such forms of tourism and will not entertain or support it in any place in the country as it was illegal.
And Chief Tourism Development Officer John Chiluwe said tourism plays a vital role in national development and that if well developed can contribute largely to economic growth.
Mr Chiluwe said though Zambian tourism is still new and upcoming, it has positive and negative aspects and that it has not been spared from child sex tourism which is taking place in some parts of the country though not rampant.
He noted that there was need to exploit more viable and sustainable avenues in the sector if tourism is to benefit the country.
Meanwhile, CASECIT Executive Director Michael Ndelela said his organization will seek to finish physical and social exploitation of children in tourism.
Mr Ndelela said his organization will work in partnership with line ministries such as the Gender and Child Development, Tourism and also Sports and Youth as well as the Police and the Media in eradication of child sexual exploitation in the country.
He said CASECIT will also engage the private sector such as hotels, lodges and tour operators in creating awareness against the vice as it is bound to take place in these premises