The case against voluntourism

Recorded at a Bristol Hub event at University of Bristol on 2 March 2017, this brief talk outlines in 13 minutes the reasons why I do not believe in voluntourism and why I also distinguish this from volunteering.

In short, I believe that voluntourism is exploitative of everyone involved in the process – those being attracted to “do” voluntourism and those communities where voluntourism takes place alike. I feel that there is a lack of effort toward local capacity-building and that there is no local ownership involved in this process. Finally, I emphasise the importance of being strategic and selective in seeking-out volunteer placements and permanent roles in non-governmental organisations.


Written by Gilberto

Gilberto is a Politics PhD Candidate at the University of Bristol. His research is located within international development and critical security studies. Presently he is completing his thesis on civil society in post-war Sri Lanka.

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