Thursday, January 30, 2014

Children Are Not Tourist Attractions

Last week I came across this Australian article about critical part of the tourism industry, children and orphanage tourism. This is a topic we had a huge focus on while I was in Cambodia, and this is an important topic that every traveler should be aware of. So I truly hope that you will all read this article, because together through awareness we can hopefully create a better and safer future for the children exploited by the tourism industry.

"There is a scene early in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona where the dry, male narrator remarks that the young American tourists (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall), ‘photographed everything from silly-looking dogs to grim-faced children.’
I immediately snorted with recognition, recalling my small collection of similar photographs from my own youthful backpacking odysseys in Mexico, Colombia and other non-English speaking countries. In fact, I’ve barely come across any holiday snapshots that didn’t contain a variation on this theme of sage, wise-beyond-their-years-looking foreign kids.
But how many of us would take random, surprise snaps of Aussie kids walking down Sydney’s Pitt St Mall? Probably about as many who would want pictures of their own children adorning a complete stranger’s photo album."

Read the whole article here.

To learn more on how to be a responsible tourist, especially when it comes to the topic of children, go to the ChildSafe pages. This is run by the Friends International Organization, and they try to raise awareness among locals and tourist, and try to educate people to make the correct choices.


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