Young family


ReThink Orphanages is a global cross-sector coalition working to prevent family separation and the unnecessary institutionalization of children by shifting the way countries engage with overseas aid and development.

ReThink Orphanages Australia was the first of the regional hubs to be established by members of the global coalition.


In 2015, a small group of people from the ReThink Orphanages coalition in Australia came together to create a solution to address the country's impact on the institutionalisation of children overseas, in response to the proliferation of orphanages and the associated increase in voluntourism they had witnessed in their work. Bringing together a core group of specialists from different sectors, ReThink Orphanages Australia was launched in January 2016.

Group of young children sitting and looking out

Today we are represented by 27 organisations  and individuals from international aid and development, philanthropy, education and faith-based communities and is working with externals stakeholders from a range of sectors including government, media, and the travel industry. 

In 2017, ReThink Orphanages Australia took a lead role in highlighting the intersection between orphanages, orphanage trafficking and modern slavery in the context of Australia's Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act. Read our submission to the Inquiry

In 2018, Australia became the first nation in the world to recognise orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery. 

Our steering group

Our steering group is made up of the following organisations: 

  • ACCI Relief
  • Alto Global Consulting
  • Cambodia Children's Trust
  • Forget Me Not
  • Intrepid 
  • Griffith Law School
  • Save the Children Australia

See below for details of all our partners. If you would like to join us, please get in touch.



How we can help you

We provide advice and information to government, business, donors, and non-profits on policy, child focused giving, transitioning from residential to community based care, responsible tourism, child rights focused business models, and technical advice. Read our Orphanage Tourism Divestment Strategy.

Schools and universities

Three of our partner organisations - Save the Children Australia, World Challenge and ALTO - have developed a downloadable resource for schools and universities engaging in overseas student travel. 

Businesses & Charities

Working in partnership with ACFID Child Rights Community of Practice, we have produced a guidance note to assist Australian charities with overseas activities involving residential care for children in their efforts to comply with the ACNC’s External Conduct Standards. Through this partnership, we have also produced a briefing note to assist entities in Australia and abroad who have orphanages in their supply chains and/or operations to understand the implications of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018. 

We have also produced a Partnership Assessment Tool. It was designed to assist charities seeking to partner with organisations running residential care services conduct due diligence assessments and determine if the service is operating in accordance with international norms and good practice standards.