Orphans In Cambodia

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According to UNICEF there are 140 million orphans worldwide. An orphan is defined as a child between the ages of zero to seventeen who has lost at least one parent. Particular corners of the globe represent a big portion of the staggering number of orphans: The Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. This is mainly caused by wars, diseases and natural calamities. Orphanages have spiked in the recent years because of the presence of so many orphans. These orphanages should be shut down or radically restructured because they fail to attend to the fragile state of the orphans, are profit-oriented, and can inflict sexual and physical abuse.

Orphans, like other children, are crucial to the prosperity of any country. They
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Sex tourism, the travel meant to engage in sexual activity in a particular country, has established strong roots in orphanages. In her paper called the Political economy of orphanage tourism in Cambodia, Mary Mostafanezhad argues that orphans in Cambodia are made easily accessible to many people who make themselves tourist, but with ulterior motives. The same orphanages do not conduct minor background checks of people visiting their establishments, so someone with ill intentions like paedophiles can easily access children for sex. For example, an orphanage director in Cambodia with the names of Thy says that he was approached by a western man to provide kids for sex, (page 11). But it is important to note that most of the perpetrators are not overtly open on their intentions like the man in the example stated. The exposure of these orphans to such people causes them to contract diseases such as AIDS. Sadly this is not the only cause of the pain inflicted on orphans. Physical abuse in the form child labour exploitation is also rampant in orphanages. It is reported by Mary Mostafanezhad that some orphanages send orphans on the streets for purposes of acquiring money through dancing, begging, and distributing flyers. Not only is the policy morally depraved, but also is a direct violation of children’s rights stipulated by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. i.e.…show more content…
Therefore, it is worthwhile to analyze some possible solutions that effectively addresses such problems. One solution is shutting down orphanages and replacing them with family care. Family care is a process of introducing an orphan in a normal family for him or her to be able to grow up in an adequately nurturing environment with love, affection, and understanding. In their report, Families, Not Orphanages ( page 5), John Williamson and Aaron Greenberg say that programs designed to keep children with the community are less costly than institutionalized care in terms of emotional and financial cost. Such community programs include the family safety net program which enables orphans to live in families. Referring back to the research from Cambodia, 77% of orphans have at least one living parent, therefore, these parents or other family relatives can accept to take care of their children/ relative provided they are assisted through the safety net family

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