UK should lead the international community in driving greater spending to protect children

 

Today, on the occasion of the Global Disability Summit, the UK Government became the first major donor of its kind to explicitly pledge support for family and community-based care for all children.

 

 

Championing families and not orphanages, Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, announced: “Orphanages are harmful to children and it is often those with disabilities who are placed in them the most. This needs to end, which is why I’m committed to the long-term plan to ensure all children grow up with a family of their own.”

 

An NGO alliance including Hope and Homes, Lumos, Save the Children and World Vision - have joined forces to echo the UK Government’s commitment and support global change for children trapped in orphanages, especially those with disabilities who are the furthest left behind. The launch ofthe new ‘Civil Society Compact [CSO Compact]’ sets out a pathway for change to help eliminate orphanages worldwide.

 

 

Recognising that institutionalisation harms children – and that children with disabilities are overrepresented in institutions –we commit to work together toward eliminating the institutionalisation of children globally. Ensuring our organisations do not contribute towards the institutionalisation of children, directly or indirectly - and in line with international treaties and best practice, we share the UK Government’s pledge to enable all children to have the opportunity to realise their right to family care.”

 

 

 

World Vision is a proud signatory to the CSO Compact, which is set out in full below.

 

 

Now is the time for other governments, funders, companies and individuals to follow suit and invest in alternatives to orphanages so all children can thrive in families.

 

 

CSO COMPACT

 

Recognising that institutionalisation harms children’s physical, emotional, psychological and psychosocial development, the undersigned organisations pledge to work toward the end of institutionalization of children and for the promotion of family-based care.

 

The occasion of the first Global Disability Summit makes this a particularly appropriate moment for this commitment, since children with disabilities are often the first to enter an institution and the last to leave.

 

 

In-line with international treaties and best practice, including the UN Guidelines on the Alternative Care of Children, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we share the UK Government’s pledge to enable all children to have the opportunity to realise their right to family care and, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, commit to leave no child behind in this effort.


We are committed to ensuring our organisations do not, either directly or indirectly, contribute towards the institutionalisation of children. We are also committed to coordinating our activities and resources to maximise our collective efforts to support the transition to family and community-based care worldwide. Specifically, we commit to coordinating around six key themes:

 

Raising awareness and understanding in a way that stops the flow of funding and resources in support of orphanages and other types of institutions, and helping to redirect this support to family and community-based solutions.  We will also seek to influence our partners, supporters and donors to work in a coordinated way to do the same.

 


Encouraging the integration of child protection and care services with health and education support in order to promote family-based care and ensure that the wide-ranging needs of children with disabilities and their carers are met.

 

Advocating with decision-makers - international and national - to prevent the placement of children into institutions, and to ensure that legislation and policy are always derived from a locally developed evidence base on how to best combat the key drivers of institutionalisation.

 

Investing in (whether financial or in-kind) local partner capacity – civil society and local authorities – to effectively manage the transition from institutions to quality family and community-based care in ways that protect the rights of affected children.

 


Promoting
 the meaningful participation of children and young people - actively seeking out, listening to and acting on the views and opinions of the young people and children we work with, and where safe and appropriate to do so, giving them a platform to share their views and ideas more widely – paying particular attention to ensuring gender balance, and the inclusion of children with disabilities and other minority groups.

 

Researching and generating an evidence base about key issues such as:

 

·       best practice interventions to address the key drivers of institutionalisation;

 

·       the proliferation and poor quality of care in these institutions;

 

·       ways to challenge the invisibility of children in institutions, especially children with disabilities;

 

·       the most appropriate alternative care options for children who cannot live with their own biological family.

 

To achieve this we will work together to share our data, research findings, methodologies and support countries to gather better data and monitor outcomes for all children. In doing this we will seek to Increase the visibility and understanding of disability issues in children’s care and protection through wider research and routinely disaggregated data collection.

 

 

 

List of signatories

 

1.     Save the Children UK

 

2.     World Vision

 

3.     Plan International UK

 

4.     Human Rights Watch

 

5.     Islamic Relief Worldwide

 

6.     Disability Rights International

 

7.     Hope and Homes for Children

 

8.     Lumos

 

9.     DeafKidz International

 

10.  Home for Good

 

11.  Better Care Network

 

12.  Friends International

 

13.  Chance for Childhood

 

14.  HealthProm

 

15.  Forget Me Not Australia

 

16.  Next Generation Nepal

 

17.  One Sky Foundation

 

18.  Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children

 

 

 

 

A mother and her children sit after fleeing violence

 

The UK must do more to protect children as less than £1 per child globally is spent to prevent violence, World Vision warns.

Reacting to announcements of a new aid offer by International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt this morning, World Vision UK raised concerns that children have not been made a primary focus.

Sarah Pickwick, senior conflict adviser at World Vision UK, said: “Any UK aid, should prioritise the most vulnerable children and their needs. This is a win-win approach to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensures no one is left behind.

“We know that around 535 million children – a quarter of the world’s child population - are currently living in fragile and conflict-affected states.

“Yet, globally, less than 1 per cent of the official development assistance (ODA) - an average of £ 0.46 per child - is spent on ending violence against children.

“This means children in fragile states are deprived of the normal protection of community, school and family and are at serious risk of violence and abuse at the hands of slavers, traffickers, armed groups and all those who would exploit them,” Pickwick continued.