Why we say NO to Orphanage Tourism

Everyone wants to be helpful, but when could your help be doing more harm than good?

Village kids in Madagascar

Village kids in Madagascar

Child Safe Tourism is an initiative that World Youth Adventures actively supports and promotes. We choose not to operate school trips that want to take part in orphanage visits and strongly encourage you and your school to follow suit.

Children working and living in tourist areas are especially vulnerable to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Too often orphans bond with western travellers only to see them leave. While you might feel good for a moment, what impact are you leaving on the orphan?

Travellers have a part to play in creating a safer tourism environment for children – our small actions can make a big difference to help protect children from abuse and exploitation.

When you travel we encourage you to take the following actions that have been put forward by World Vision:

ACTION 1: If you are concerned about the welfare of any child, tell your tour guide immediately.

ACTION 2: Instead of giving money directly to children begging or selling food or souvenirs, support their families and communities or donate to reputable children’s charities.

ACTION 3: Treat children like you would in your home country. Before taking photos of children, always ask for their permission.

ACTION 4: Never take a child anywhere without the supervision and permission of their parents or guardian.

ACTION 5: Before visiting or volunteering with vulnerable children, research the organisation to ensure they have standards and procedures that protect children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Please don’t support ‘orphanage tourism’.

ACTION 6: Spread the word about Child Safe Tourism. Share this information with your friends and family while you travel and when you return home.

Visit http://www.childsafetourism.org to learn how you can protect vulnerable children.

Learn more about World Youth Adventures’ Responsible Travel Policies here.

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