Anna* was trafficked into a bogus orphanage in Uganda when she was just seven years old. She was unable to leave the orphanage, forced to work and beaten if she refused, so that the bosses could use her to profit from donations orphanages attract. Fortunately, by simply committing to stop offering placements in orphanages, tour operators can disrupt the traffickers' business model and make it clear that they're on Anna's side.
Even though she was scared and far from home, Anna was forced to smile and show affection to volunteers from abroad who would visit the orphanage and give donations that ended up in the traffickers' pockets. Little did they know that Anna had been trafficked and was trapped in exploitation.
Her experiences are not unique – but you can help Anna's story trigger change by demanding an END to this profit-making economy.
Anna's family, like many others living in poverty, were approached by traffickers who tricked her parents into handing her over to the orphanage with false promises that she would receive an education and be cared for. Instead, she was placed in an institution to endure forced labor and abuse at the hands of the unscrupulous orphanage directors who required a constant flow of children into the orphanage so that volunteers would keep returning with more funding.
Global Vision International, African Impact and others are anti-trafficking leaders in the tourism sector who have already committed to stop placing volunteers in orphanages. We know that if they can do it, other tour operators can as well. Join the call urging volunteer tour operators to stop offering placements in orphanages.
*Anna's story is based on the experiences of children trafficked into orphanages across the world.