iLocal News Archives

End Orphanage Child Trafficking

From Freedom United

August 2018: We have reached out to Global Vision International, Go Overseas, WorkAway, Love Volunteers, African Impact and Plan My Gap Year calling on them to join organizations such as Volunteer Service Overseas who have taken a stand against orphanage placements, publishing a statement on their website in 2016.

Traffickers and dishonest children’s homes are capitalizing on the trend of combining voluntary work with traveling. They encourage families living in poverty to give up or sell their children to orphanages. There, these vulnerable children may be exploited, even abused, malnourished and forced to work. They may even be re-trafficked to other orphanages to repeat the cycle and bring in further donations.

Join us in telling volunteer tour operators to take a stand.

Attracted by the funding orphanages receive from donations and ‘voluntourism’ placements, traffickers turn children into commodities. This means volunteer tour operators are in a powerful position to remove the financial incentive and make a strong statement against orphanage trafficking.

We are not suggesting these organizations have placed, or promoted the placement of, volunteers in orphanages that exploit or traffick children.[1] They have made valuable contributions to the communities they operate in. But now, their support is crucial in breaking the cycle of child trafficking and exploitation in orphanages.

Volunteer tour operators: do your part to end trafficking into orphanages!

An estimated 8 million children live in orphanages worldwide, yet 80% of them have at least one parent or family member who is able to look after them, with additional support if needed.[2] It is clear from these numbers that something doesn’t add up.

  • Sinet Chan in Cambodia was beaten, raped, starved and forced to work on the orphanage director’s rice paddies and farms without pay.[3] Now, she is a strong ambassador for the Cambodian Children’s Trust, raising awareness of conditions children face in institutions.[4]
  • The government of Cambodia has set up a pilot program to reintegrate children into families. Last July, it tasked officials with identifying vulnerable children and overseeing their reintegration into families.[5]
  • In Haiti, some families were paid 75 USD to give their children away to orphanages on false promises their children would receive an education, only for them to end up living in slave-like conditions.[6]
  • Vulnerable children being separated from their families and placed in orphanages to attract funding, volunteers and donations from well-meaning tourists is an occurrence reported across Southeast Asia, as well as in Nepal and across Africa.[7][8]

This season, join our call on popular global volunteer tour operators to take action.

Share this campaign with them to raise awareness of the risks of trafficking and abuse facing children in orphanages.

Our team relies on donations from supporters like you to continue the work that is so crucial. Please keep Freedom United strong by chipping in $5. Your donation will help change the future.

[1] For the avoidance of doubt, Freedom United is not alleging that the organizations we are targeting are knowingly exploiting or promoting the trafficking or abuse of children. Freedom United is calling upon them to use their important role in supporting communities around the world and help bring an end to this cycle of exploitation.


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