This section highlights academic and institutional literature, reports, and other resources focused on international volunteering, tourism, and donations in residential care centres. For academic resources on international volunteering more generally, please visit, and For resources on residential care, please consult the BCN library. 

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Up/Root Podcast,

This episode of the podcast Up/Root features interviews with Stephen Ucembe and Ruth Wacuka who both grew up in "orphanages," despite having parents. They share what it was like to grow up in an institution and what they are doing to help end orphanage tourism - and how listeners can join them in their pursuit of justice for families and children.

The International Forum for Volunteering in Development,

The International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) has developed The Global Standard for Volunteering for Development (the Global Standard) to help organisations understand and deliver Responsible and Impactful Volunteering, and to encourage learning and continuous improvement in development projects involving volunteers. The Global Standard offers key actions and indicators for each of the four themes - Designing and Delivering Projects, Duty of Care, Managing Volunteers, and Measuring Impact - including several indicators related to orphanage volunteering.

Government of the United Kingdom,

On 18 October 2019, the UK Government updated its guidance on gap years and volunteering overseas to include an advisory on volunteering at and visiting orphanages abroad. 

Australian Border Force ,

This guidance, which was developed for businesses and other organisations required to report under Australia's Modern Slavery Act 2018, offers a case study on orphanage trafficking as well as information on orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery and how entities can identify it in their operations and supply chains.


This report from Lumos defines the global problem of institutionalization of children - including the factors that drive it and the harmful impacts it has on children's physical and cognitive development - and proposes global solutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

ReThink Orphanages Australia & ACFID Child Rights Community of Practice,

This guidance note was developed by ReThink Orphanages Australia and the ACFID Child Rights Community of Practice to assist charities with overseas activities involving residential care for children in their efforts to comply with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC)’s External Conduct Standards (ECS).

ReThink Orphanages Australia,

The Partner Due Diligence Assessment Tool was developed specifically for charities seeking to partner with overseas organisations who provide residential care services for children. It is designed to help you determine whether your partner or prospective partner is operating in accordance with standard notions of good practice and international norms.


This video from Homecoming tells the fictional story of Bernard, a boy separated from his family and placed in an institution, and explains some of the harms of institutionalization on children.

Charles H Zeanah, Nicole G Wilke, Carole Shauffer, Tamsen Rochat, Amanda H Howard, Mary Dozier - The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health,

While much of the published research on orphanage volunteering has focused on the effects of the practice on volunteers, the authors of this comment paper from the Lancet argue that there is also substantial reason for concern about the harm this practice might have on the children—especially in young children (ie, ≤5 years)—being raised in these settings.

Shannon Senefeld, Philip Goldman and Anne Smith - Health Progress,

In this piece for Health Progress, the Journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Shannon Senefeld, Philip Goldman and Anne Smith explain why many aid groups are working to end the use of orphanages in favor of family-based care and describe the work of the Changing the Way We Care initiative which seeks to "mobilize other likeminded organizations, raise awareness, promote new policies and encourage well-meaning donors to shift their support away from orphanages and toward families."