To protect children during your travel

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We created 7 Tips to help you understand what can harm children during your travels. Every year, millions of tourists travel to developing countries. Once there, they are touched by the difficult living conditions of children from the local communities and they want to help. Despite their good intentions, their behavior can often have a negative impact upon those children’s lives. Visiting orphanages or schools, visiting slums, giving money or food to begging children, these are all behaviors which keep children in poverty or even in abusive situations. We give you tips on what can be harmful alongside proactive ways you can help.
Tip 1 - THINK! Children are not tourist attractions – let’s not treat them like they are.


Children living or studying in schools, orphanages or slums shouldn’t be exposed to tourist visits. These places are not zoos. Imagine a bus full of foreigners visiting schools in your home country. Would you find this acceptable?

Travel ChildSafe – Put child protection first and do not visit these places.

Learn more.



Tip 2 - THINK! Volunteering with children feels good but could be harmful – look for better ways to help them.


Working with children in institutions such as orphanages is a job for local experts, not for travelers who are just passing through. Children deserve more than good intentions: they deserve experienced and skilled caretakers and teachers who know the local culture and language.

Travel ChildSafe – Make sure your volunteering is a great experience and has the best impact possible. Do not work directly with children; instead, share your professional skills with local staff. You can also explore other ways to put your talents to use.



Tip 3 - THINK! Children pay a price for your generosity – don’t give to begging children.


When you give money, food or gifts to begging children, you encourage them to continue begging, which prevents them from going to school and locks them into a cycle of poverty.

Travel ChildSafe – There are better ways to support children and youth: use businesses with a social impact, such as training restaurants and shops, or donate to organizations supporting children and their families.

Find such organizations and businesses here.



Tip 4 - THINK! Professionals know best – call them if a child needs help.


Helping children directly can cause problems because you don’t know the local culture and laws. For instance, never take a child back to your hotel room – it’s dangerous for both you and the child.

Travel ChildSafe – When you see a child in need, the best thing to do is to contact local professionals. Call a child protection hotline, contact a local organization or call the police. You won’t bother anyone – it is their job to check and help. Just call. You could save their life and give them a first chance to build their future.

Find a list of hotlines here.



Tip 5 - THINK! Sex with children is a crime – report child sex tourism.


Sex tourism involving children is a devastating reality. It happens in hotels, in bars, etc. You may also be offered to have sex with children.

Travel ChildSafe – When you see such a situation, don’t put yourself at risk. Call a child protection hotline, contact a local organization or call the police so immediate action can be taken to protect the child and investigate the situation.

Find a list of hotlines here.



Tip 6 - THINK! Children should not be at work instead of school – report child labor.


Some children sell goods at tourist sites or offer their services as guides. Others are hired in tourism businesses like hotels or restaurants, and this is a problem when it hurts their education and development.

Travel ChildSafe – Do not buy goods or use services offered by children. If you think that a business employs underage children and prevents them from going to school, call a child protection hotline, contact a local organization or call the police. They will check the child’s situation – many children are just helping out their parents after school, but some may be exploited.

Find a list of hotlines here.



Tip 7 - THINK! Protect children – be a ChildSafe traveler.


ChildSafe raises awareness about how you can help children during your trip. It also trains and certifies many businesses in the tourism industry (such as hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, and taxi services) to actively protect children.

Travel ChildSafe – Use ChildSafe-certified businesses when planning and throughout your trip to avoid being involved in harmful situations for children. Every action described in these tips can make a big difference. Join the movement and together, let’s protect children!




Find ChildSafe hotels, tours, restaurants or shops.


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