Stop Orphanage Tourism in Cambodia

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The Gaurdian on September 29, 2016 elaborates, orphanage tourism refers to the practice of recruiting children from poor families to pose as orphans in an effort to extract money from volunteers. ABC on July 1, 2017 contends, these orphanages span continents but are mostly in Cambodia, South Africa, Nepal, and Indonesia. But, calling these places “orphanages” is misleading as it implies the children have a need to be there. According to Probono Australia on August 2, 2017 of the 8 million orphans around the world, 6.4 million of them aren’t actually orphans- they have at least one living parent but were forced into a life of exploitation and abuse. 

Unicef Cambodia on March 30, 2016, these institutions force children to hunt for their dinner of insects, fish and mice in nearby fields and ponds, sleep on the floor, and go days without showers, clean clothes or water. According to Unicef Cambodia, children growing up in these orphanages suffer brain damage because parts of their brain actually die. Furthermore, due to rampant abuse, Intrepid Travel on January 13, 2017 reiterates, these children are 500 times more likely to commit suicide.

Cambodia's government does not have any current initiative to ban the practice of orphanage tourism or the existence of these institutions. Sign this petition to put pressure on Prime Minister Sen to outlaw these abusive institutions and the presence of tours that endorse them.