On December 18, during its 50th meeting, the United Nations General Assembly focused on the theme of children without parental care, and adopted the Resolution on the Rights of the Child, which is included in the Report of the Third Committee on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children.
This offered an important opportunity to: place children without parental care on the global agenda, review progress made in preventing unnecessary family-child separation and providing appropriate alternative care, and recommend specific actions to strengthen care reforms globally. Child rights advocates, mobilised at global, regional, and national levels and worked together to develop a set of Key Recommendations, endorsed by a coalition of more than 250 organisations, networks and agencies, , including COFACE Families Europe.
According to UNICEF, there are approximately 140 million orphan children, 15.1 million of which have lost both parents. Another source estimates that 1 in 10 children are growing up without appropriate parental care. A wide range of complex factors trigger the sometimes preventable loss of parental care by a child, for instance, parental incapacity due to physical or mental illness, discrimination, substance abuse, poverty or parental death to mention a few.
Children deprived of parental care, or who are at risk of being so, are among the world’s mostlv vulnerable and invisible groups. Children in institutions or on the street, separated from their parents due to poverty, conflict or disability have largely fallen off the statistical map and global development agenda. It is both important and urgent that concerted action is taken to address their often overlooked situation.
The resolution includes many of the Key Recommendations: this represents a major step forward and an important tool to strengthen care reforms globally, with 193 member states clearly reflecting a global commitment to strengthen children’s care in their families, prevent unnecessary separation by addressing its root causes, put an end to child institutionalisation by progressively replacing it with family and community based care and address some of the drivers supporting it, including orphanage volunteering. It’s a big achievement that could not have happened without the extraordinary engagement and support of the coalition members.
More information here
Find the resolution here (on pp. 7-21)