Published on : Saturday, November 11, 2017
Projects Abroad announced the decision this week, saying it spent the previous two years comparing the impact volunteers made in orphanages, as opposed to community-based care where children are not institutionalized. A communiqué by the U.K.-based company, which arranges more than 10,000 volunteers each year to Asia, Africa and South America said that over the last couple of years, a growing amount [of evidence] associating orphanage care with child trafficking and exploitation has been reported.
Intrepid Travel and World Challenge are the other two operators which have made similar decisions to stop placements in orphanages.
This change in the attitudes about orphan tourism came after years of campaigning by children’s-rights organizations, who brought into light that unskilled volunteers for short stints in orphanages helps in nothing but institutionalising and exploiting children in developing countries.
Projects Abroad had been named in a 2012 investigation by the Al Jazeera news network into the lack of supervision of foreign volunteers at Cambodian orphanages.
Citing studies from advocacy groups, the adventure-tourism company Intrepid Travel announced in May of last year that it was ending visits to orphanages from its itineraries.