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Print this pageCambodia: child protection workers call for end to ‘orphanage tourism’

Date:

02/01/2014

Organisation:

Better Care Network

Resource type:

News release

Author:

Helen Davidson, The Guardian

Summary:

Child protection and NGO workers are pleading with tourists and volunteers to stay away from orphanages in Cambodia, claiming so-called “orphanage tourism” damages the children and enables exploitation.


Web link http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/02/cambodia-child-protection-workers-call-for-end-to-booming-orphanage-tourism


Child protection and NGO workers are pleading with tourists and volunteers to stay away from orphanages in Cambodia, claiming so-called “orphanage tourism” damages the children and enables exploitation. This article reports that visits from tourists and volunteers – known commonly as “orphanage tourism” – lend credibility to institutions and the numbers are increasing in Cambodia.

Most children living in orphanages (about 77%) are not orphans and child protection workers say such institutions should be an absolute last resort. The Cambodian government has introduced policies to impose minimum standards for child protection, but Luke Gracie, alternative care manager at the NGO Friends International in Phnom Penh said it was struggling with implementation. There are still rogue institutions and a lack of enforcement around registration. Numerous institutions, including some with Australian links, have been accused of exploitation and abuse.  “It is quite simple in Cambodia for people, especially foreigners, to come in and set up an organisation, set up an orphanage, and either have it registered or not,” he said. Unicef’s Rana Flowers called for an end to volunteer placements at orphanages, instead directing foreigners to community and education projects. “The really important message for all the tourists coming from Europe, from Australia, from the US, is that you are driving an industry that is incredibly abusive and exploitative of children.”

Previous News release items


Organisation Contact Details:

Better Care Network
c/o UNICEF
3 UN Plaza, 739-2
New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1 212 326 7650
Email: contact@bettercarenetwork.org

Last updated 13/01/2014 02:41:56

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.

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