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Child Welfare Policy & Guidelines

Kids are kids, no matter where they live.

When you travel, you always try to do the right thing. So do we. But what about those areas when you feel like you’re doing the right thing, but you’re not entirely sure? Think of it this way, what would you do if you were at home?

To ensure that we’re protecting children around the world, we have worked with our non-profit partner Planeterra and Child Safe Movement to create our Child Welfare and the Travel Industry: Global Good Practices Guidelines. In these guidelines, we outline how businesses can operate in a way that protects children. We hope other travel companies will pick up these guidelines, so we can create real change in our industry. Download the guidelines.

We used these guidelines to shape our own internal Child Welfare Policy, to ensure that all our business decisions and operations continue to protect kids all around the world.

Some helpful insights to remember

Don't take photos of or with children

Photos

To local kids, you’re a stranger. Be considerate and don’t take photos with kids unless you have their parent or guardian’s permission.

Don't interfere with classrooms

Classrooms

Interrupting a lesson is never okay. There are better ways to learn about local life than school classroom visits.

Look but don't touch wild animals

Handouts and Gifts

It’s easy to think a dollar or a gift helps kids, but think about this long-term. Over time this behaviour can force children to stay out of school to beg, leading to a cycle of dependency and poverty.

Tip: Instead, donate to organizations like Planeterra which help youth and their families.

If you see something, say something

Safety

If you see a child in a situation that just doesn’t seem right, do the right thing and report it right way.

Child Welfare Traveller Code of Conduct

For a full list of dos and don’ts while travelling, you’ll find our Child Welfare Traveller Code of Conduct below. For most of these situations, if you consider how you’d behave at home, you’ll start to understand how some of the common travellers’ behaviours that are thought to be positive, can be harmful. Download full Code of Conduct

What you should do while travelling

  • Do treat and communicate with, children and young people with respect — just like you would at home
  • Do ask permission before taking pictures. Do not take pictures if people are clearly uncomfortable or pictures that do not respect their dignity
  • Do be aware that any use or sharing of any photographs of children must protect their rights and privacy
  • Do raise concerns or suspicions you have regarding the welfare of children, to either your CEO or by emailing childwelfare@gadventures.com, or to local police in the case of an emergency. Do not confront the person you are suspicious about and do not question the child involved
  • Do respect local laws and traditions. Be aware that your actions are bound by both the laws of your country of residence and destination country, and you may be prosecuted by both when breaking those laws (and don’t believe that you are above or not bound to local laws)
  • Do ask yourself “Would I be allowed to do this in my own country?”

What you should not do while travelling

  • Don’t share any personal contact details, such as your address, phone number, social media details, or email address with children or youth
  • Don’t stay alone with a child where no one else can see what you are doing. Do not take a child to your home, hotel or to other private spaces; you can easily put yourself at risk
  • Don’t give assistance in aspects of personal care or hygiene to children you may encounter, as it may put you at risk of accusations of abuse
  • Don’t act in a way that is, or could be interpreted as, inappropriate, threatening or sexually provocative, and keep in mind many countries may be more conservative than your home country
  • Don’t raise expectations by discussing, offering, or agreeing to support a child or a family. Refer any such question to a member of the G Adventures Team
  • Don’t encourage close attachments with individual children — your visit is temporary, and you cannot maintain contact beyond the visit
  • Don’t give money or offer gifts to children. If providing a gift is appropriate, it should only be given with prior agreement about what is needed. Give it to caregivers or a reputable children’s organization, which will distribute it appropriately
  • Don’t give money, food, or buy from begging or selling children, as this keeps them out of school and encourages begging
  • Don’t ask children to pose for a photograph for money or gifts
  • Don’t hit or physically abuse a child or any person
  • Don’t develop any form of romantic/sexual relationship with a child or young person, whether physical, verbal, or online
  • Don’t take pictures of naked or partially naked children under any circumstances
  • Don’t take pictures of children depicting sexually explicit behaviors or positions
  • Don’t put photos of children online with details about their identity. Avoid names, location, personal history, etc.
  • Don’t visit sites, download material or send emails with content that relates to children and is pornographic, discriminatory, intimidating, violent or criminal
  • Don’t believe “it could never happen to me” regarding being accused of negative accusations involving children

Join us and pledge to protect children when you travel!

Thank you to our partners who helped us create our Child Welfare Guidelines and become the first global travel company to be ChildSafe certified.

About ChildSafe Movement

For more than a decade the ChildSafe Movement, a global protection initiative powered by Friends-International, has been safeguarding children and youth from abuse through creating protective environments in which they can thrive. The Movement has developed easily accessible tools and resources which raise awareness and provide solutions to child protection issues for all tiers of society and the international community.

ChildSafe Certification means G Adventures has committed to Child Welfare standards across its operations and complies with ChildSafe's business certification requirements. Implementation of our policy includes training for all staff including our Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) who guide our tours. This training educates all staff so every business decision we make is informed and continues to put children’s welfare as a priority. For more information or to report any concerns please contact childwelfare@gadventures.com

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