Poorism or the concept of visiting less developed places to observe people living in poverty has been growing in popularity for past decades. The idea of poorism was first introduced back in 1840s, when wealthy British Tourists were eager to compare slums in United States (US) to those back home. Spreading slum tourism from New York across the coast to San Francisco. Nearing the end of the Second World War, there was a temporary decline in poorism due to the increase in the number of social welfare schemes in the world. However, in recently years, poorism has grown exponentially in popularity due to increasing curiosity of many adventurers from worldwide. Due to the popularity of poorism, it sparks heated debate around moral dilemma. Many consider this practice as a form of exploitation to the local communities while others argue they raise awareness and thus benefit the local communities economically and socially.
Discussing the topic of poorism, Turkey identified two areas of concern that should be come to the committee’s attention expresses its opinion on such issues below.
Firstly, Turkey believes that the council should discuss on the ethical concern of poorism to prevent exploitation of personal rights. United Nation officially defines human rights as rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, nationality, or any other status. Also, everyone is entitled to these rights such as right to life and liberty, the right to work and education, and many more, without discrimination. By allowing poorism, it gives the tourists the opportunities to look at disadvantaged people for their own entertainment, indirectly treating the slum residents as animals in the zoo. In order to solve this issue, committee should encourage various stakeholders to organize volunteer-oriented trips as well as trips that include home stays with local families, thus tourists can have a deeper comprehension of the conditions in slums. As such, more affirmative actions can be taken to effectively level up the infrastructures and living environments in slum.
Secondly, Turkey believes that the council should discuss on the sustainable poorism development to ensure that slums residents can benefit positively in the long term. Through poorism helped to raise awareness of the existence of the slums with an intention of slum upgrading and consequently total eradication through tourism, it only provides only a temporary benefit if no further actions are taken. Turkey places heavy emphasis on sustainable tourism development, with the launch of Tourism Strategy Of Turkey 2023 further highlight the determination. Turkey believes that this council is not the place to focus on specific dispute and individual benefits but rather come to a consensus on how to ensure sustainable poorism. As such, Turkey urges all claimant states to ensure the sustainable tourism development instead of focusing on the short term gains that might hinder one’s society.
With this, Turkey has laid its stance and opinions on the topic and hopes to see fruitful debate in council on the topic in question.
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