Skip to page content

UK Government warns about harm of orphanage volunteering in new advice for citizens

Children belong in families,
not orphanages
News

UK Government warns about harm of orphanage volunteering in new advice for citizens

Ahead of the launch of a new campaign by Lumos, the UK Government has issued Travel Advice for citizens that warns travellers of the “serious and unintended consequences” of orphanage tourism and volunteering on children and communities.

In its official advice on ‘Volunteering with Children’, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office highlights how orphanage volunteers and visitors may “unknowingly contribute towards child exploitation” and put themselves at risk of “accusations of improper behaviour”.

It also notes that a “regular turnover of volunteers without relevant training and experience can be harmful to children’s development and emotional wellbeing”.

The announcement comes ahead of the launch of a major new campaign by Lumos to help end orphanage tourism and volunteering, which will take place at the annual One Young World summit in London on 24 October.

Chloe Setter, Lumos’ Senior Advisor on Anti-Trafficking, said:

“We are delighted that the Foreign Office has issued such clear advice to prospective volunteers and travellers.

Volunteering can be incredibly beneficial, but most people don’t know about the harm that is caused by visiting and volunteering in orphanages. This guidance – alongside Lumos’ new campaign – will help travellers to make informed, safe choices that do not inadvertently harm children.”

Information on the campaign to follow soon. Follow us on Twitter for updates.