started this petition to
Volunteer travel organisations
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or visiting orphanages can cause harm to vulnerable children. It is also
driving an "orphanage industry", where children are being
unnecessarily separated from their families.
These concerns have been
widely covered in international media, but volunteer placements in orphanages
are still being offered by many travel and volunteering organisations.
sign this petition as part of our efforts to call on these organisations to act
in the best interests of the children and communities they are supposed to
Please also share this petition with your networks, using the hashtag
On average, 80% of
children living in orphanages worldwide have one or more living parent. The
most common reasons for many children to be placed in orphanages is because
their families think it will give them better access to food and education.
They often think this because many orphanages are supported and visited by
foreigners who bring donations and often teach English.
However, over sixty years
of research shows that growing up in orphanages can have a negative impact on
children’s health, development, and life chances. Children who grow up in
orphanages are also much more likely to experience abuse than in any other form
of care setting.
Children grow up best in
orphanage volunteering harmful to children?
Volunteering in an
orphanage can cause harm to children in the following ways:
Volunteering in orphanages can glamourize
incentivize the separation of children from their families.
Volunteering in orphanages sustains and grows a
type of care that should only ever be a temporary, and last-resort solution for
In many places,
governments are trying to move children out of orphanages into families, but
the funding and support of orphanages from international supporters and
volunteers is disrupting these efforts.
Volunteering in orphanages normalises access to
are a target for those with harmful intentions towards children. Visitors with
good intentions normalize the practice of allowing access of unqualified staff
to vulnerable children – something that would not be permitted in their own
Volunteering in orphanages can cause disrupted
time a volunteer leaves, children are left behind. This can have a particularly
adverse affect as they learn not to trust or invest in relationships. For very
young children such disrupted attachments can also have adverse affects on how
their brains develop.
protection specialists have also articulated concerns about how the presence of
international volunteers can disrupt children’s routines (such as education),
and create confusions with regards to culture and identify. Most volunteers are
not qualified to work with children and have little understanding of the
potential of their behaviour to negatively impact upon the emotional and social
stability of children.
addition, volunteering can contribute to the commodification of children, where
they are seen as something to be “experienced” by a visitor, and can be
encouraged to act “poor”, or perform for visitors to solicit donations.
For more information on
the negative impacts of volunteering on children and families, please visit:
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Organizaciones de viajes de voluntariado:
detengan el turismo de orfanatos!
¿Por qué es importante?
El voluntariado que se realiza orfanatos
puede causar daños a los niños vulnerables. También está impulsando una
"industria del orfanato", donde los niños son separados
innecesariamente de sus familias.
Este problema está siendo difundido en
medios de comunicación internacionales, sin embargo las pasantías locales e
internacionales de voluntarios en orfanatos siguen siendo ofrecidas por muchas
agencias de viajes y organizaciones de voluntariado internacional.
llamado a estas organizaciones para actuar en el mejor interés de los niños y
las comunidades que se supone deben servir y decirle:
Comparte el hashtag:
Para obtener más
información sobre el impacto negativo de este tipo de voluntariado en los
niños, familias y comunidades, por favor visite:
obtener asesoramiento sobre adecuación de buenas prácticas a en voluntariado y
protección de la niñez escribir a: volunteering (a) bettercarenetwork.org