Children are Not Tourist Attractions...
A preliminary mapping of only 5 provinces in Cambodia has revealed at least 128 residential care facilities for children and young people which were previously unknown to the Government of Cambodia. A previous study in 2015 in the same province recorded 139 residential care facilities housing 7,545 children, whereas the 2016 mapping indicates 11,788 children are now living in 278 institutions considered to be long-term (more than 6 months). This is an increase of 92%.
“The findings confirm our long-held concerns over an uncontrolled increase of residential care institutions in the country, putting the well-being and safety of children living in un-monitored institutions at risk.” said H.E. Vong Sauth, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.
“We conducted this survey as part of our effort to grasp the real scope of the proliferation of residential care institutions and to account for facilities where children reside to ensure adequate supervision and regular annual inspection.”
Child Safe Horizons will be working with NGO networks in both 'source' and 'supply' countries to promote child safe tourism. We urge potential volunteer tourists to think twice about volunteering in children's residential care facilities in countries such as Cambodia and Nepal, where standards of care are often low, many institutions are not registered with the government, and important child safeguarding policies and procedures may not be in place to protect the children.
Not only are children vulnerable to potential abuse by being placed in such residential care, the "orphanage tourism industry" has meant a mushrooming of so-called orphanages in order to meet the 'demands' of often well-meaning "voluntourists"
For access to UNICEF and MoSVY joint press release on study - http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/12681_25344.html
For access to the study - http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/results_for_children_25343.html
For more information, please contact Child Safe Horizons www.childsafehorizons.com
See also: www.rethinkorphanages.org and http://www.bettercarenetwork.org/bcn-in-action/better-volunteering-better-care