High season is coming, no money for children
This article of Mark McDonald at the New York Times, Don’t Give That Child a Dollar‘ referring to Cambodian children, is just practical and real preventive. Cambodia is preparing itself for the high season and an optimistic number of 3 million visitors this year, according to official estimates. By this moment hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, air companies, public transport individuals and many others are preparing to welcome all those tourists, who like to see the temples and go further Siem Reap in tours around the Kingdom of Wonders.
Children are used to beg money in tourist spots by adults who can be their families or persons with a strong influence over them. The level of influence can vary from a poor mother that thinks her child should do something to survive and avoids the kid to attend school to evil individuals involved in more mafia-style networks.
Don’t give money to children on beaches and tourist spots. Do not buy things from children during the night. When you do it, you prevent the child from attending school and you stimulate the kid to remain on the streets looking for more ‘kind foreigners’ to ask money. It is a circle. The children will be more vulnerable to any kind of abuse.
Do not participate in orphans’ tours. Children are not tourist attractions and orphans offering tours to foreign visitors are far from safe shelters for the children. They use the children as exhibited exotic creatures. If you want to support Cambodian orphans, street children, rural kids, etc, there are plenty of well established organizations you can check and send something.
It is difficult to ignore a kid following you, but it is the best way to promote a change of situation. If children stop to be an economical resource for abusers, they will not be sent to the streets anymore.