Geographies of Marginalization: Modern slavery and orphanage tourism

Authors: Joseph Martin Cheer*, Wakayama University, Japan & Monash University, Australia
Topics: Tourism Geography, Third World, Australia and New Zealand
Keywords: Modern slavery, geographies of marginalization, orphanage tourism, responsible tourism, sustainable tourism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Maryland C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The association between modern slavery practices and global tourism has rarely been made with the sector largely evading scrutiny and where connotations of modern slavery have been made, albeit largely unknowingly, these have been attributed to sex tourism, the building and construction industry, hospitality, agriculture and the long tail of the tourism services supply chain. Notwithstanding, the presence of modern slavery in global tourism supply chains is largely under acknowledged despite the push for more sustainable, resilient and responsible tourism. Orphanage tourism is an exception and links to modern slavery practices have been made on account of the extent to which children have become subjected to underpinning tenets of what constitutes modern slavery. In broad terms, this includes the deprivation of freedom, deception, unfair work and bondage. I refer to these seemingly and mostly inadvertent outcomes as geographies of marginalization where international tourist mobility underpins adverse outcomes for hosts, in this case children and families, principally in the Global South. In Australia, the enactment of legislation to make partaking in or promoting orphanage tourism illegal is underway in earnest. This is already having an impact in tourism supply chains with leading companies no longer including orphanage visits on their itineraries. Here, I discuss the ramifications of Modern Slavery legislation on orphanage tourism and what the implications might be for tourism supply chains more broadly and for the SDGs agenda where tourism is concerned. Accordingly, I advance the notion of geographies of marginalization.

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