The ethics of volunteering – what do you think?

The ethics of volunteering – what do you think?

There’s been a lot in the print and web media recently about the ethics and challenges of volunteer travel.

One of the reasons we started people and places was to campaign for change – better practice by recruiting organisations – a fair deal for volunteers and the communities they seek to serve.

Those of you who have volunteered will have first hand knowledge of some of the challanges and valuable insight into the realities. Those of you who are new to volunteering may want to raise questions that we should be answering.

The following are just a few examples. What do you think? We would really welcome your input – post your comments against this blog post – or drop Sallie an email and she  will post it for you.( or not if you don’t want to publish your opinion and comments!)

Click on the titles to read the article

Why you shouldn’t participate in voluntourismlike most things in life,(voluntourism) is far more ethically nuanced than many organisations facilitating such experiences often let on.
A Code of Practice for volunteer organisation – would it work? Two well respected organisations are planning are working on codes of practise but will these just be another meaningless kitemark?
Do it right or don’t do it at all Can volunteering in an orphanage or childrens home ever be ethical?

We at people and places are very pleased to see that destinations – our hosts – are now starting to address the problems created by irresponsible programmes – particularly where it involves working with children

take a look at

A recent article about orphanages in Cambodia

The Child Safe Campaign for Cambodia

and debate about the accuracy of the Cambodia reportage which serves to underline how carefully we must research!

and some recent news from Nepal

two countries were way too many vulnerable children and well meaning volunteers are exploited.

At people and places we have always had a responsible travel policy and codes of conduct  – we have now also developed A child protection policy – where projects already have their own we will ofcourse use those but where the projects have not yet developed their own we will use our generic policy. Take a look here

So what do you think?

Want to keep up with the debates – try these two @panpvolunteer on twitter and the responsible volunteering page on facebook

the planeta wikispace for volunteering is a good source of information too

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