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World Expeditions Adds its Weight to Fight Against Orphanage Tourism

December 22, 2017 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

World Expeditions and its school and youth brand, World Youth Adventures, are delighted to announce membership of the Rethink Orphanages Network, an organization working to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children in developing countries. 

Joining Rethink Orphanages’ working party is World Expeditions’ newest initiative in the company’s long standing opposition to the practice of institutionalizing children, in which children live in institutions, outside of family-based care.

In 2013, World Expeditions become the first Australian tour operator to remove all instances of orphanage tourism from its programs, when research first revealed a direct relationship between the increase in the number of orphanages in developing nations and the increase in tourism numbers.

World Expeditions Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, says she is heartened to see that this very serious human rights issue is gaining traction within the media and that other travel companies are now taking a stand against Orphanage Tourism too.

“There is compelling evidence that orphanage tourism – the practice of well meaning travellers visiting and volunteering in orphanages – is open to abuse from corrupt organisations operating under the guise of an orphanage and praying on well-meaning but uninformed travellers,” Ms Lawrence said.

“We removed all orphanage visits and volunteering from both our schools’ program – through World Youth Adventures – and from our regular adventure travel program – through World Expeditions – in 2013 as soon as we became aware of the research,” she said.  “We followed up by developing with the industry’s first Child Protection Code of Conduct, working alongside World Vision’s Child Protection and Trafficking division.”“

“As a global leader in responsible travel, the World Expeditions Travel Group is proud to become a member of the Rethink Orphanages’ working group and we’re excited to put our weight behind this important human rights issue,” Ms Lawrence said.

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