Here's an article from Melbourne's Age newspaper that discusses orphange tourism in Cambodia. Well worth a read:
I think the more this is spoken about the better... it's pretty horrible what they are putting these kids through..
#2 Bradders has been a member since 6/1/2013. Posts: 11
The Al Jazeera documentary is very good also http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2012/05/201252243030438171.html
However, there is good work being done by volunteers and orphanages in Cambodia (and elsewhere), so people need to educate themselves on the ethics of 'voluntourism' and critically evaluate their own reasons for doing it. If you can find a reputable organisation and feel you have genuine skills that you can bring to the table, then research thoroughly and go. English language skills are extremely useful all around the world in terms of getting jobs in tourism, which often brings in more money than other kinds of jobs. Unfortunately, this increases reliance on foreigners, and exacerbates cultural imperialism.
Don't go out of pity and an arrogant notion that you can 'help the poor Cambodians', but out of empathy, respect and curiosity to learn from your experience with the wonderful Khmer people.