July 27, 2021

Who’s taking a stand against orphanage trafficking?

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By Miriam Karmali FromFreedom United

Nobody wants their volunteering experience to be tainted by trafficking.

As global travel slowly resumes, tour operators must ensure unsuspecting travelers aren’t signing up to volunteer placements abroad that could be linked to child trafficking.

Ask volunteer tour operators to stop offering placements in orphanages and do more to take a stand against child trafficking!
Send a message
No matter the good intentions behind volunteering in orphanages, the fact is that children living in orphanages can be at risk of trafficking and abuse.

With the rise of voluntourism[1] – a popular trend that combines voluntary work with traveling abroad – traffickers and unscrupulous orphanage directors have exploited a market where children are the commodity.

Poor families are vulnerable to being taken advantage of by traffickers who promise to provide their children with an education and opportunities.

Instead, these children are kept in institutions where they are often neglected, exploited and forced to interact with foreign volunteers to generate donations that end up in the pockets of traffickers and orphanage directors.

Volunteer tour operators can take a stand against trafficking by breaking this cycle of abuse. All they need to do is stop offering placements in orphanages to send a clear message that they’re doing everything they can to avoid perpetuating orphanage trafficking. So, what’s taking them so long?

Send volunteer tour operators a message today!

100,000+ global supporters know that there’s no excuse for the tourism industry to continue offering orphanage placements. Children are best cared for in family settings. The serious harm of institutionalization and orphanage tourism are well-documented and orphanage voluntourism is widely acknowledged to be a driver of trafficking. 

We know that change is possible. Your activism so far has influenced Global Vision International and African Impact to recognize the trafficking risks associated with children in institutions and stop offering orphanage placements.

Go Overseas are also planning to set up a flagging system on their site to ensure anyone searching for a volunteering opportunity will be advised against volunteering in an orphanage. This is a direct result of YOUR messages demanding change, that’s why we’re calling on you to keep up the pressure!

What are other volunteer tour operators waiting for? There’s no excuse for the tourism industry to continue turning a blind eye. Ask them to take a stand against orphanage trafficking NOW!

In solidarity,

Miriam and the Freedom United team 
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