Child Rights – November 21 2019

Historic moment as UN commits to supporting children without parental care

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution focusing on children without parental care – one of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

The resolution demonstrates how concerned UN member states are about the millions of children around the globe without parents or at risk of losing parental care. It underscores the lack of support for families at risk as well as a lack of quality care options for children who have lost parental care. The resolution also outlines a series of actions and commitments to improve this situation and fulfill the rights of this group of children.

These actions include the need for training of authorities who work with children using the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. They call for improved data collection to inform policies and programming for this group of children. They also recognise that a range of quality care options is needed in order to ensure that every child can be provided with an individualised care solution in his or her best interest.

The member states also highlighted the importance of, and reaffirmed their commitment to, key international human and child rights documents such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

As experts in supporting children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care, SOS Children’s Villages is very pleased to see the member states recognise just how complex and varied the causes are for family separation and the specific vulnerabilities of children with disabilities, unaccompanied migrant children and refugees as well as care leavers, and ​values their commitment to take a holistic approach to ensuring the fulfilment and protection of the rights of every child. We welcome the focus on strengthening parents’ ability to take care of their children and improving the economic and social situation of families, as this ensures that alternative care is always a measure of last resort.

“Through this international agreement, governments from all around the world recognise the grave situation in which many children grow up, with their rights violated and the development of their full potential compromised. But most importantly, they lay out a set of solutions and commitments to put into place the mechanisms, investments and systems to fulfill and protect the rights and meet the protection needs of children without parental care,” said SOS Children’s Villages Representative to the United Nations, Sofia Garcia Garcia.

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