Authorities in Los Cabos are urging tourists not to buy souvenirs or other products from children in the area to help combat child labor.
The President of Comprehensive Family Development in Los Cabos, Flora Aguilar de Leggs, said that over the summer holiday period in particular, officials are aiming to double their preventative measures and will also be carrying out an awareness campaign among tourists.
According to Leggs, conversations have already been held with officials in the municipal airports to implement plans to put up informational posters and hand out brochures on the subject.
The brochures will also inform visitors that they should not buy handicrafts, candy or any other products from minors, due to rising child labor particularly in the evenings.
Leggs went on to say, “A few days ago we had a meeting at Los Cabos Airport, with the intention of replicating measures that other states are already working on, such as putting up posters and handing out brochures to inform tourists to not give any money to children”.
“For these children it is often seen as a job or a way of life, but in the eyes of the government it is considered abuse. Adults take these children out late at night which leaves them exposed to other dangerous situations”.
He pointed out one of the observations which has been noticed by the staff at the Program for Attention to Minors and Adolescents at Risk, which is that in many of these cases, the parents and relatives work long hours, meaning the children are then left to go out on the street without any supervision.
“Unfortunately, many people who come to Los Cabos to live and work or even those who are from here, want to achieve a better life so they work more. Then they leave minors in the care of neighbours or siblings, but when these carers also have ot work, there is no place for the children to go but in the streets”.
Leggs stressed that the main focus of the initiative is to stop minors from going out into the streets and working, which is why they will be carrying out free workshops which will hopefully make more adults, both locals and visitors, aware of the need to protect children.
This news comes as an exception to recent reports from Los Cabos that fraudulent tourism sales have seen a sharp decline in recent weeks, and the area has overall seen a downward trend in crime rates.
Until recently, despite police patrols on beaches, illegal and fraudulent vendors were difficulty to identify however there has since been the introduction of QR codes and specific uniforms so that both police and tourists can easily identify licensed vendors and avoid scams.
Not long-ago Los Cabos recorded a relatively high amount of crime compared to other Mexican states mainly attributed to crimes such as robbery and pickpocketing.
Los Cabos authorities have been making a concerted effort to crack down on crime in all areas, including illegal vendors on beaches and unsafe driving. Although many of the frequent traffic accidents have involved locals, tourists are still encouraged to remain vigilant if they are walking through areas with heavy traffic.
Police are also cracking down on both tourists and locals for more minor crimes such as littering and public intoxication in order to maintain the region’s perception as a safe and popular tourist destination.
On a positive note, Los Cabos is maintaining its popularity as a tourist destination and is now receiving even more visitors than Puerto Vallarta, with over 250,000 visitors per month. The area is only beaten to first place by the ever-popular area of Cancun.