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Our Ethical Standards for Humanitarian Programs
Our Ethical Standards for Humanitarian Programs

In this article we will explain the ethical standards that we have set for humanitarian programs on our platform.

Linda Anderson avatar
Written by Linda Anderson
Updated over a week ago

Volunteers travel abroad every year to work with underprivileged children or orphans. Their goal is to improve the children's current situation and increase their future opportunities. Because these children have dealt with so much already, volunteers and organizations need to be aware of their responsibility.

As a mediator, Volunteer World strives to assure that each volunteer program on the platform has a positive impact. On the children, the organization, and the volunteer. 

Minimum Stay of 4 Weeks

Children in these programs tend to deal with attachment issues. This is why repeated separation from volunteers is difficult for them and something we want to avoid. 

To comply with our ethical standards and give the children a stable environment, we only accept applications for a minimum of 4 weeks. For orphanages, we even recommend a minimum stay of 6 months.

Only Qualified Professionals


If you want to volunteer for a position in childcare, you need to have a high school diploma. 


For orphanages, we only accept candidates with the necessary qualifications and professional experience. The specific educational and professional requirements are specified on the program page 

These requirements are not negotiable. It's in the best interest of the children and the volunteers that volunteers are qualified to support the children's needs. In the past, there have been many volunteers that have had very challenging volunteer experiences abroad with children due to their lack of experience.

Additional Requirements

Minimum Age Requirement

All programs that involve working with children have a minimum age requirement of 18.

Background Check

A criminal background check is required for all candidates working with children.

Responsible Volunteering

Volunteer World is committed to transforming the volunteer industry and creating responsible volunteer opportunities. There's a lot of controversy about volunteering in orphanages. This is also why we don't actively promote orphanage projects on social media. To read more about some of the downsides of certain orphanage projects, you can read this

Volunteer positions in teaching or childcare aren't a testing ground for your future career plans. If you’re thinking about volunteering in an orphanage, make sure you do it for the right reasons and are qualified to interact with children. 

The Global Travel Academy courses will prepare you for responsible volunteering and will let you dedicate your time to the child’s cause. 

More information

For more information about voluntary work in humanitarian programs, take a look at the policy paper of „Bread for the World“ and „TourismWatch“. 

If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact us via email or live chat! We are happy to help you find a program where you'll have a positive impact.

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