The welfare and safety of children and their families in the destinations that we visit is of utmost importance to Selective Asia. We therefore work very hard to ensure that tourism does not encourage or contribute to the abuse of children, including but not limited to child labour, trafficking, and sexual exploitation. We have a zero tolerance policy towards any type of child exploitation, and we are enacting strict contracts with our partners to reflect this.
Volunteering in under-privileged communities may feel like making a positive contribution, but whilst this is certainly possible if working with an ethical organisation, in some cases short-term or ill-considered volunteering does more harm than good. Selective Asia actively opposes voluntourism that has no long-term self-sustainable benefit to the community. We want to ensure that if you do volunteer, it's about doing good, not feeling good. If you would like to participate in a project that helps communities, it is essential that this is strictly reviewed to ensure the transparency of your contribution, be this in the form of labour (building a well, for instance) or finance.
Selective Asia doesn’t offer any type of "orphan" tourism, including orphanages, children’s centres or homes, or boarding schools.
Photography may be a big part of how you document your holiday, but you should take extra care when it comes to taking photographs of people, especially children. In all cases, please be certain that everyone consents to being in a photograph. If they're children, check with the parents as well as the kids. When taking photographs that may include children, please consider that sharing these on social media may pose a risk to the child.
Homestays are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in your destination’s culture, and to allow a two-way cultural exchange. However, they must be selected carefully to avoid any damage to the host. In communities that have had little or no contact with international guests, hosts may be aware of what is appropriate, which risks creating an environment that is unsafe for children. All our homestays are carefully curated, and hosts are experienced in receiving international guests.
Selective Asia does not provide any type of activity or experience where children may be at risk of exploitation via labour or any other way.