Cambodia's Orphan Business

Cambodia's Orphan BusinessBetween the 1970s and 1990s, Cambodia was ravaged by civil war. Since its return to peace there has been a boom in tourism with over two million visitors every year.

Keen to help this war-torn country, increasing numbers of tourists are now also working as volunteers. Most come with the very best of intentions - to work in schools and orphanages, filling a gap left by a lack of development funding.

But, inadvertently, well-intentioned volunteers have helped to create a surge in the number of residential care homes as impoverished parents are tempted into giving up their children in response to promises of a Western-style upbringing and education. Despite a period of prosperity in the country, the number of children in orphanages has more than doubled in the past decade, and over 70 per cent of the estimated 10,000 'orphans' have at least one living parent.

And perhaps most disturbingly, stories have emerged that Cambodian children are being exploited by some of the companies organising the volunteers or running the orphanages.

Watch the full documentary now

145
5.80
12345678910
Ratings: 5.80/10 from 5 users.

More great documentaries

Comments and User Reviews

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELGOPCC3LBVWXVJ3JYIHBVY54A Revilo

    Brilliant.

    Its the pocket change of the west that can and does help poverty etc... Regardless of geographic location. Proper usage of the funds has always, and will always be a concern, as well as the abuse of such charitable systems.

    The inherent problems of aiding people that need help, and those same people, becoming addicted to the aid received, will also, always exist. It happens in the west too, loosely referred to as "silver spoon" syndrome.

    The target goal for any aid organization, should be for eventual self sufficiency, personally as well as nationally. Not just feeding those in dire need, thus creating a justifiable environment, for "another mouth" .

    I have personally witnessed extreme poverty, as well as child sex workers. It is ****. An endless cycle of irresponsible, ego-centric, and violent neglect. Like the chicken and the egg, poverty and sex trades, go hand in hand. Education, rehabilitation, and sustainable opportunity are what quench the repercussions of such detriment.

    Proper "aid triage" does hypothetically resolve most problems. Only consistency, determination, and optimism, can write these problems into the history books, for good.

    ~Oliver

  • dmxi

    i hope madonna or angelina jolie don't see this!(ok,i'll lol this one!)

  • drinker69

    'So you've been to school
    for a year or two
    and you know you seen it all
    in daddys car thinkin you'll go far
    back east you're type don't crawl....
    Great song.....Pol Pot!

  • roselle leah k rivera

    well, if this the framework for "global voluntourism", there should be an investigation about an even bigger profit making venture of the "development industry" . for example the so called " legitimate " development grants and loans of the asian development bank in the name of eradicating poverty, hire foreign consultants who get extravagant first world standard of living in a country of utter inequity like the philippines....and take a look at the border of vietnam and cambodia, their infrastructure projects give rise to the phenomenon of young girls in brothels near beer houses for the mobile men with money! the ADB refuse to take a strong position against child trafficking and instead just provide AIDs awareness for the men.

  • http://twitter.com/SurviveCambodia Survive in Cambodia

    Orphan business in Cambodia but also NGO business when you look all the luxury vehicules with NGO in blue.

  • southab403

    I must have missed it, but who is paying the volunteer supplying companies that $50 per volunteer that they can deploy? Where is the money pouring into the organizations coming from?

    It seems as though this documentary uncovered the corruption within the lower and middle layers, but missed uncovering the driving force behind the whole scheme.

    Somebody has to be benefiting greatly from the way that the system is set up. Who? Govn't?

  • bluetortilla

    This documentary was disappointing and uncovered little. In fact, much of it was a no surprise view of life as an orphan in Cambodia. I've seen far worse.
    I came away from this doc. angrier than anything else. Why was it only 25 minutes? Why does it focus almost solely on young people who 'pay to volunteer' and aren't apparently doing anything wrong? Why is the focus on corrupt volunteer agencies rather than on exploited children as a whole? Why does it hint that some of these children are being sexually abused in and around nightclubs but fail to expose anyone? Why aren't operators of these orphanages under criminal investigation if that be the case? It claims children are disappearing- but where are they going? The crew take a few children out for a drive out of the orphanage- isn't that a sort of entrapment that doesn't really prove anything? Why wouldn't an orphanage trust a camera crew with credentials? Does the fact that orphanages make some profit necessarily make them bad? Is the observation attachment disorder among these kids in any way surprising?
    The fact is that children in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam et al are being sold into both sex slavery and into domestic and factory servitude. Few if any of these victims ever see an orphanage, as they are whisked away underground by the massive trade in white slavery. While my heart goes out to the children in this documentary and I absolutely agree that their conditions demand improving and new homes, it seemed to me they were still a lot better off than kids living on the street. And it was absolutely frustrating for me to see someone do a documentary on unprotected children in Cambodia without even mentioning the slave trade. Quite hypocritical and very unfair to children in need of our help.