Orphanage Voluntourism and the United Nations

As we have written before, Cosmic Volunteers does not send volunteers to orphanages any longer.

The studies about the harms of orphanage tourism are piling up year after year and are just too obvious to ignore any longer.

However, orphanage tourism continues to exist, and in a big way.

There is some good news though:

The child advocacy organization Stahili continues to fight on behalf of children who are exploited around the world.

Yesterday Stahili posted an article asking, “Why is orphanage tourism not in the UNWTO draft convention on tourism ethics?”.

As Stahili  writes, “…public awareness of the harms of orphanage tourism, its growth as an industry and its links with child trafficking, has risen sharply in recent years.

They cite current developments in Australia, where orphanage tourism could soon be outlawed as part of a Modern Slavery Act.

Stahili also notes a recent report by Lumos on Haiti that highlighted the negative impact of orphanage tourism in sustaining an orphanage “business” which separates children from their families.

We will continue following the issue of orphanage voluntourism, including organizations like Stahili who are working hard to end the practice.

Who is Stahili

Stahili is a movement of practitioners, experts, individual supporters, teachers and students from around the world who want to make the world a better place for children.

They work in education, child protection and development, and children’s rights advocacy. They help children in institutional care – such as orphanages – regain their right to family and provide access to high quality education. They are members of the Alternative Care Alliance Kenya.