The Orphan Business

Channel 4: Unreported World

Reporter Evan Williams and Director Laura Warner film undercover in some of Nepal's orphanages where many children are being used to elicit cash from well-meaning Westerners.

They discover many children are not orphans, but have been taken from impoverished parents. The team discover evidence such children are mistreated and used by orphanage owners to attract money from donors. The orphan industry is now so lucrative, children are a valuable commodity.

The Unreported World team visits Thamel in Kathmandu, the tourist centre of Nepal, where visitors can book a placement as a volunteer in an orphanage. There are more than 500 orphanages in the Kathmandu valley. As well as working as volunteers, every year foreigners donate millions of pounds to help orphans.

One former orphanage worker tells Williams about one orphanage which claims all the 80 children it looks after are orphans or abandoned. But he claims that when he worked there, 45 of the children told him that they had parents. In some cases he has met the parents.   

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The Orphan Business, Channel 4: Unreported World | Quicksilver Media