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Orphanage Tourism: the clampdown Australia needs to enforce

Mike Jeffreys

Australian Senator Linda Reynolds has put orphanage tourism on the agenda, saying Australia needs to be part of the solution when it comes to combatting the issue.

Calling the phenomenon a “perfect 21st century scam,” Reynolds suggested Australians are keeping the industry afloat, with the “sugar rush” their altruism creates often resulting in virtual signalling social media posts.

But these photos often come at the expense of the children involved.

CEO of Forget Me Not Australia, Andrea Nave, confirms this is the case.

“It’s a sham. A real scam,” she says.

The CEO explains that the practice is driven by opportunistic orphanage operators abroad, who are looking to capitalise on western do-gooders seeking out orphanages to help at.  Children are often removed from their parents to fill the orphanages, with carers promised an education that never materialises.

Some 4 out of 5 orphans are thought to have living parents.

“This is making children modern day slaves, placed there for the purpose of someone to profit from them,” says Ms Nave.

“Children aren’t tourist attractions and they don’t require volunteers to help them out.”

Ms Nave is imploring Australian’s to reassess their motives, noting that Australia doesn’t have orphanages due to our preference for family based care.

“We are perpetuating a myth that doesn’t exist here on our own shores. So why are we romanticising it when we go on holiday?”

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Mike Jeffreys