A long time ago, Chris and I worked in an institutional care setting as foster parents with a number of vulnerable children. We lived in the same house, and were responsible for their everyday needs. We were ‘foster mum’ and ‘foster dad’ . It was hard.
Anyway, not once did a mini van full of tourists pull up and come in to hug, kiss and photograph the children. I would have called the police!! And never, ever, did the children have to dress up and dance to earn enough money to buy themselves food and clothing.
No, they were considered vulnerable, and entitled to privacy and security. As a matter of basic human rights they also received education, recreation, food, clothing shelter and participated appropriately in the community. I cannot tell you their names or why they were in care. I certainly can’t put their photos online. The child protection system in Australia has many shortcomings, but this much at least, I believe, was done right.
In Cambodia, however, its a very different story.