We have become a member of ReThink Orphanages Network, an organization working to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children in developing countries. Both World Expeditions and our youth brand, World Youth Adventures, are lending our names to the fight against this harmful form of tourism.
Joining ReThink Orphanages’ working party is our newest initiative and follows in our long standing opposition to the practice of institutionalizing children, in which children live in institutions outside of family-based care.
In 2013, we became the first Australian tour operator to remove all instances of orphanage tourism from our 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.
Our Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, 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 preying on well-meaning but uninformed travellers.”
“We removed all orphanage visits and volunteering from both our schools’ program – through World Youth Adventures, and from our regular adventure travel program in 2013 – through World Expeditions – as soon as we became aware of the research. We followed up by developing 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.”
Learn more about our Child Safe Tourism policy.