Published on : Monday, September 4, 2017
Australian Education minister, Simon Birmingham, will cut off the support of the orphanages from Australian schools and universities, which are responsible for the widespread exploitation and the abuses in the name of orphan tourism.
The child rights groups, including the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF, have consistently called on the western governments to decrease the financial support for orphanages in developing nations.
The orphanages often house “paper orphans”, or children who still have living parents but are still lured with the promise of education and a better life.
There are many institutions across the world which is doing the businesses for the profit of their owners. These institutions are sustained by so-called “orphanage tourism” from well-intentioned westerners who visit, donate or volunteer. There the children can be subject to abuse and violence and forced for exertion in slave-like conditions.
The Australians are among the top financial supporters of orphanages in many South-east Asian countries, including Cambodia, according to UNICEF. That support comes largely from churches, travel agencies, universities, educational institutions and schools.
Between 4% and 16% of public schools raised funds for or took trips to orphanages, which are now becoming the earnings of the orphanages. His announcement was welcomed by child rights campaigners which will make orphanage tourism this year under the scanner.
Van Doore said Australia should be applauded for leading the world in taking action on orphanage tourism. She said banning the orphanage tourism would be a very significant step in ending the exploitation of children in orphanages overseas.
The key message is that no child should be spending their childhood in an orphanage. The schools and universities should focus on their support on the initiatives where children can grow up in their families and communities.