Travelling ChildSafe in Cambodia

During your travels, you will probably come across children that are at risk. Camboticket is a proud supporter of the ChildSafe Movement, which works to protect children and youth who are living and working in situations of extreme poverty, suffering from illness, victims of abuse or affected in any other way that prevents them from having their internationally recognized rights as children fulfilled.

We are committed to helping address the inequalities and lack of opportunity that sometimes prevents Cambodia from becoming a more fair and inclusive society.  To know how your behaviour can positively contribute to the cause, we have listed below the ChildSafe 7 Tips for Travellers.

Khmer Language

Tip 1 – Children are not tourist attractions – let’s not treat them like they are.

Children living or studying in schools, orphanages or slums shouldn’t be exposed to tourist visits. These places are not zoos. Imagine a bus full of foreigners visiting schools in your home country. Would you find this acceptable?

Travel ChildSafe – Put child protection first and do not visit these places.

Tip 2 – Volunteering with children feels good but could be harmful – look for better ways to help them.

Working with children in institutions such as orphanages is a job for local experts, not for travellers who are just passing through. Children deserve more than good intentions: they deserve experienced and skilled caretakers and teachers who know the local culture and language.

Travel ChildSafe – Make sure your volunteering is a great experience and has the best impact possible. Do not work directly with children; instead, share your professional skills with local staff. You can also explore other ways to put your talents to use.

Tip 3 – Children pay a price for your generosity – don’t give to begging children.

When you give money, food or gifts to begging children, you encourage them to continue begging, which prevents them from going to school and locks them into a cycle of poverty.

Travel ChildSafe – There are better ways to support children and youth: use businesses with a social impact, such as training restaurants and shops, or donate to organizations supporting children and their families.

Find such organisations and businesses here.

Tip 4 – Professionals know best – call them if a child needs help.

Helping children directly can cause problems because you don’t know the local culture and laws. For instance, never take a child back to your hotel room – it’s dangerous for both you and the child.

Travel ChildSafe – When you see a child in need, the best thing to do is to contact local professionals. Call a child protection hotline, contact a local organization or call the police. You won’t bother anyone – it is their job to check and help. Just call. You could save their life and give them a first chance to build their future.

Find a list of hotlines here.

Tip 5 – Sex with children is a crime – report child sex tourism.

Sex tourism involving children is a devastating reality. It happens in hotels, in bars, etc. You may also be offered to have sex with children.

Travel ChildSafe – When you see such a situation, don’t put yourself at risk. Call a child protection hotline, contact a local organization or call the police so immediate action can be taken to protect the child and investigate the situation.

Find a list of hotlines here.

Tip 6 – Children should not be at work instead of school – report child labour.

Some children sell goods at tourist sites or offer their services as guides. Others are hired in tourism businesses like hotels or restaurants, and this is a problem when it hurts their education and development.

Travel ChildSafe – Do not buy goods or use services offered by children. If you think that a business employs underage children and prevents them from going to school, call a child protection hotline, contact a local organization or call the police. They will check the child’s situation – many children are just helping out their parents after school, but some may be exploited.

Find a list of hotlines here.

Tip 7 – Protect children – be a ChildSafe traveller.

ChildSafe raises awareness about how you can help children during your trip. It also trains and certifies many businesses in the tourism industry (such as hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, and taxi services) to actively protect children.

Travel ChildSafe – Use ChildSafe-certified businesses when planning and throughout your trip to avoid being involved in harmful situations for children. Every action described in these tips can make a big difference. Join the movement and together, let’s protect children!

About ChildSafe

The ChildSafe Movement is a network of businesses, individuals and other organizations that was born out of the need to protect children, to raise awareness of the problems that billions of children suffer in their daily lives and how to help solve them.

ChildSafe works to protect children and youth who are living and working in situations of extreme poverty, suffering from illness, victims of abuse or affected in any other way that prevents them from having their internationally recognized rights as children fulfilled.

Children and youth living on the margins of society are exposed to many cases of abuse, from physical and emotional violence to sexual exploitation, forced labour or lack of access to health care and education.

ChildSafe ensures marginalized children and youth are protected from all forms of abuse and have access to the rights enshrined in the UN Convention of Human Rights of the Child:

  • The right to survival (medical care, shelter, clothing and food)
  • The right to protection from all forms of abuse and neglect.
  • The right development (access to education, support to remain in his/her family, etc)
  • The right to participation

How does it work? 

  1. Behaviour Change Campaigns: By adopting positive behaviours they provide positive environments to children and youth.
  2. Child Protection Trainings: These trainings are given to various types of people and organizations. These entities are given the tools to protect children and youth in their daily life.
  3. 24/7 Emergency Hotlines: ChildSafe provides immediate protection to children at risk of being harmed. Hotlines operate 24/7 across Asia ready to respond to a call about a child in danger. ChildSafe social workers take the necessary action to rescue and protect the child.

Who is involved? 

  • Individuals: The movement informs citizens about risks their children are facing and how to be actively involved in protecting them. ChildSafe also informs travellers and volunteers on the most effective ways to protect and support children in their 7 tips for Travelers section.
  • Businesses: ChildSafe provides training to any business to allow their staff to immediately protect children at risk of abuse. All types of businesses can be trained and promote ChildSafe messages.
  • NGOS: Through the ChildSafe Alliance, child protection is extended to other countries, creating partnerships with like-minded NGOs working within their communities. ChildSafe ensures local authorities and governments are involved in protecting children, and it works with clinics, emergency shelters and counselling hotlines that provide services to children. 

Where they work

The ChildSafe Movement is truly global. The main office is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, while activities in Europe are coordinated from their office in Geneva, Switzerland. Supporters – individuals, companies and organizations – are all over the world, helping ChildSafe spread the messages of their campaigns to millions of people. ChildSafe also has more than 40 organizations in 13 countries who are part of the ChildSafe Alliance.