Australia has gone ahead and done what no other country has, by officially declaring orphanage trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery.

The Modern Slavery Bill, which was passed this week, aims to discourage Australians from taking part in orphanage tourism.

The move comes after research found that 80 percent of children living in the world’s orphanages have at least one living parent and were likely lured to group homes in order to attract paying international volunteers, BBC.com reported.

Could orphanage tourism by outlawed KarryOn

Australian Senator Linda Reynolds described orphanage tourism as the “perfect 21st-Century scam” that’s created a serious problem for young people, particularly those in Southeast Asia.

“We have created the problem for the region, so now we have to work with other countries to fix it.”

Australian Senator Linda Reynolds

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop concurred, saying that the people who believe they’re doing a “good deed” by volunteering at overseas orphanages have actually helped turn vulnerable children into “tourist attractions”.

Intrepid Group, which removed orphanage visits from its itineraries in 2016, hopes Australia’s stand against orphanage trafficking will raise awareness for the issue and its damaging impacts.

“Intrepid welcomes the Modern Slavery bill passing today,” Intrepid Group Chief Executive, James Thornton, said. “As a steering committee member of Rethink Orphanages Australia, this is something we have advocated for since the Bill was proposed in 2017.”

“[We] are pleased to see the Australian government legislate that this is a form of modern slavery.”

James Thornton, Intrepid Group Chief Executive

 

What are your thoughts on the news?