Avoid giving gifts directly to children or taking them anywhere alone
Why is it important?
While we may feel that interacting with local children is a special experience, it actually has the potential to be detrimental to them. It teaches children to socialise with strangers, who may not always have their best intentions in mind. Playing, giving gifts or taking children to places alone encourages them to trust adults who are strangers without their parents or carers supervision or permission. People who seek to harm children often do so after building up a relationship with a child over time, often involving gifts and bribes. This can be confusing for children and put them at risk.
So what can I do instead?
Never give gifts directly to children or take them anywhere alone without supervision and permission. Instead make a contribution to organisations and enterprises that are working to support vulnerable children and families.
In rural areas and small communities ask to see the village leader and pass any gifts on to them. They can ensure that items are distributed fairly and given to children the most in need. If visiting ethnic minorities, it is best not to bring items such as sweets, clothing or pharmaceuticals that could threaten their traditional way of life.