My pledge is: Protect children
Children begging in tourist destination countries is a common experience for many tourists and it is tempting to give money or small gifts with the hope that this will help the child. But this can be harmful to the child and their family. It can give children an incentive to stay out of school. It is also possible that this is part of an organised crime and the children will not benefit from the money or gifts collected. They may also be trafficked and forced to beg.
Orphanages can receive funding from the tourism industry, whether that is from tourists visiting or making donations, or from volunteers. However, a growing evidence base has consistently highlighted the negative impact on children of living in orphanages – especially when a parent or close family members are still living nearby. Funding from the tourism industry can encourage the expansion of orphanages. Tourists visiting and volunteering in orphanages can also makes children vulnerable to abuse in those areas where regulation is lax and creates attachment problems in children who become attached to short-term visitors.
If tourists want to protect children, then donating to a local respectable NGO is often a more beneficial.