Article: “Modern slavery and tourism: when holidays and human exploitation collide”

This article focuses on the links between the tourism supply chain and modern day slavery, links which are often overlooked by tourists, governments and the tourist industry as a whole.The article sheds light on orphanage tourism, defined as when tourists visit orphanages to donate money, goods or time by volunteering. Regardless of intentions, selecting to support or participate in orphanage tourism is irresponsible.In recent years, especially in Southeast Asia, children in orphanages have come to be treated as tourist attractions and commodities for the orphanages themselves. This increase in demand for visiting/volunteering at these orphanages means that orphanages have begun operating as business enterprises, focused on profit rather than the best interests of the children.

At Free To Shine, we believe children are best supported and protected when they grow within their own families and communities. Our program provides support services not only to the girls that we enroll, but to their families as well. We work with families and community leaders in order to develop case-by-case solutions to any complex challenges they face – all the while prioritizing the child’s safety and right to education.