When travelling through a developing country it is easy to become overwhelmed by the plight of some children, misery and social issues can be affecting and travellers may be moved to take action, or wish to contribute in a meaningful way. However, direct contributions often only add to the problem and reinforce practices that put children in vulnerable and dangerous situations.
Do not give gifts, money or sweets to children or buy anything from them – although you might think it helps, it only encourages them to stay on the streets where they have little hope of a better life and are vulnerable to all sorts of abuse. These children are usually exploited by local mafias or their own family.
Millions of children around the world are pushed onto the margins of their societies. These children have little access to education and forced to work, are separated from their families and as such are at risk op physical sexual and emotional abuse.
Support the local economy : buy locally made food and handicrafts directly from local crafts people and markets. Items in shopping areas where tourists are taken are often overpriced as the guides may get a commission on purchases.
Opt for Fair Trade goods where available.
Avoid purchasing products that exploit or destroy wildlife.
Don’t purchase historical artefacts.
Bargain within reason and with a smile!
With patience and a broad smile you will not only get a better price when you shop but also enjoy the art of negotiation. Some tourists take pride in paying the cheapest price they can, unaware that the seller might be accepting a sum below cost price because they desperately need the cash. Whatever you buy, be mindful that it is their livelihood.
Do not support the sex industry
This includes the various shows in hostess bars, street prostitution, etc. Aside from the fact that men and women are best not viewed as commodities you risk putting money into the hands of the mafia. What you may see as entertainment is not the full picture. No one is willing to work as a prostitute; those who do are trapped by human traffickers or do it to support their relatives.
Paedophilia is strictly forbidden. Violators will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, ever after they return to their home countries.