UN targets tourists with anti-counterfeiting campaign


Three UN agencies have combined to educate tourists about the dangers of a number of illicit practices such as counterfeiting.

The campaign, launched on March 5, aims to raise awareness about the most common fake goods and to encourage travellers not to buy them.

More than one billion tourists are believed to travel each year.

The initiative is the product of three UN agencies – The World Tourism Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

It was launched at a trade show, International Tourism Bourse, in Berlin.

Called ‘Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller’, the campaign is also targeting human trafficking and illegal drugs. Its supporters include tourism companies Marriott International and Sabre Holdings.

The UN agencies are looking to social media to promote their cause, using the Twitter handle #Traveldonttraffic. There is also a website dedicated to the campaign:http://bearesponsibletraveller.org, as well as a special YouTube channel for anti-counterfeiting activities.

UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov said it is important to educate tourists about where the profits from illicit sales end up.

“Travellers have a responsibility not to contribute to the profits being generated through organised crime. Whether it relates to the sale of people, animal products, drugs, cultural artefacts or counterfeit goods, it is important that travellers fully understand the exploitative nature of these activities. Awareness campaigns such as this one are critical if potential consumers are to be informed about the adverse effects of their purchasing decisions.”

This is not the first time the UN has helped to promote anti-counterfeiting. In January, the UNODC launched Counterfeit: ‘Don’t buy into organised crime’, which encourages consumers to “look behind” the production of fake goods and make them understand the ramifications of illicit trade.

The UN claims counterfeiting costs $250 billion per year globally.

This article was originally published on World IP Review on March 6. 

UN, UNODC, UNWTO, UNESCO, counterfeiting, Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller

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