Home

Australia Recognizes Orphanage Trafficking As Modern-Day Slavery

By Sharelle Burt

Share

Behind all the beautiful beaches and bouncy kangaroos, Australia has its share of issues. However, it looks like their government has finally stepped in to take care of at least one.

The country is the first to recognize orphanage trafficking as modern-day slavery. Under the Modern Slavery Bill that was passed earlier this week, businesses are required to report what they are doing in the efforts to stop slavery in supply chains. This is only a part to stop residents from participating in “voluntourism” schemes.

Reports say that 80 percent of kids that live in orphanages have at least one parent still alive and are only there to attract volunteers, for pictures and make them feel good about themselves. Over 57 percent of universities and institutions in Australia market orphanage placements while 14 percent of the schools actually visit, volunteer or fundraise for them. Going to visit a child in need is cool, but it actually does more harm than good in the end.

RELATED: Was Air New Zealand’s Safety Video Cultural Appropriation?

Linda Reynolds, a senator from Australia, said the high demand for these trips creates a huge problem in southeast Asia. She called it the “perfect 21st-century scam.” Foreign visitors get a sense of a “sugar rush” by taking these trips. Former Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that the children have “become tourist attractions,” a proper name because when visitors come, the children are forced to perform, almost like animals at the zoo.

Orphanages in countries like Nepal and Cambodia have kids that are handed over in hopes they can be provided with a better life. Orphanages are supposed to help children become better educated and get access to food. But the U.S. State Department says otherwise, claiming orphanages force the children to perform or interact with the donors to get funds.


Thankfully, numerous groups are campaigning to put an end to it and support the new bill. “Intrepid welcomes the Modern Slavery bill passing today,” CEO James Thornton said. “We removed any visits to orphanages from our Intrepid trips in 2016 and are pleased to see the Australian government legislate that this is a form of modern slavery.” Lumos is an anti-trafficking and voluntourism charity that is at the forefront of working to end this growing problem. “Australia’s legislation will help to take orphanage trafficking out of the shadows and put it in the spotlight on the global stage,” Lumos senior adviser Chloe Setter said. “We now need other countries to adopt similar measures and ensure their own anti-slavery legislation protects against this heinous type of child trafficking.

Setter is hoping that other countries follow in Australia’s footsteps to stop it. “We welcome this important first step from the Australian government to tackle orphanage trafficking, and we look forward to working with other countries to follow their lead.”

Share
Travel Noire

Sharelle Burt

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

6 Times These Traveling Black Fathers Were Family Goals On Instagram

6 Times These Traveling Black Fathers Were Family Goals On Instagram

In honor of Father’s Day, here are some black fathers who are inspiring us all to the see the world and they’re doing it with their spouses and children by their sides.   1. James and his wife Monet run the travel blog “The Traveling Child.” Together, with their two daughters, Kennedy and Jordyn, the […]

Parker Diakite

Big Moves: How One Traveler Took The Leap And Moved To Australia

Big Moves: How One Traveler Took The Leap And Moved To Australia

Written by Reis Armstrong Since my recent move to Australia just over three months ago, I’ve been asked by hundreds of people how I was able to do it. If you’re lost on where to begin to plan your move abroad or just need a few pointers, check out my tips below. Because Australia is […]

Travel Noire

Sydney Celebrates LGBTQ Pride With Permanent Rainbow Crosswalk

Sydney Celebrates LGBTQ Pride With Permanent Rainbow Crosswalk

Sydney, Australia is gearing up for the their annual Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras with Lord Clover Moore by unveiling a permanent rainbow crossing at Oxford Street’s iconic Taylor Square.  “The new rainbow crossing is a hugely symbolic statement of support for the LGBTQ community after a tumultuous time with the marriage equality plebiscite. This […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin