December 10 2012

Human Rights Day - Why children shout care for ME!

10/12/2012 – The suppression of food, humiliating physical punishment and forced domestic labour are commonly used as disciplinary methods in state residential care facilities, according to the Human Rights Ombudsman in Peru. Alas, the violation of the rights of children in care is a global issue. To address this, SOS Children’s Villages has today embarked on an ambitious worldwide campaign – to improve the quality of care for vulnerable children.

Human Rights Day Children cry Care for Me! SOS Children
Care for ME! stems from the results of in-depth research conducted by SOS Children’s Villages across seven countries. The assessments* have uncovered appalling violations of children’s rights across the world. Therefore, a holistic approach combined with cutting-edge practices in social work is being advocated to ensure that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is acted upon in a practical sense.

Needs vary from country to country; however, the message from children living in alternative care, or in vulnerable families, is the same. They are crying out for their human rights when they say care for ME!

States and influential authorities now have a tool to help them improve the quality of care for children. The assessment tool for the implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children not only identifies the gaps in care and family strengthening, it provides recommendations based on the experience and the best practice of experts. The depth of ground-breaking information now available for the first time provides a clear picture for decision makers across the world. They can easily relate to the detailed knowledge from; Armenia, Columbia, Croatia, Lithuania, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Gitta Trauernicht © T.Standún
Change is not happening fast enough, it needs to happen now says Gitta Trauernicht © T.Standun

Human Rights Day - a time to act 

What each report has in common is the fact that vulnerable families should be empowered. The separation of parents and children must be prevented. Where alternative care is deemed necessary, individualised solutions provide the key to quality care.

SOS Children’s Villages believes that every child, whether living within a family or in alternative care, has the right to experience the positive, stable and loving relationships that he needs for a healthy personal development. “For us, it is important that each child can develop his and her individuality in a family environment. Change is not happening fast enough for all the children concerned. Change needs to happen now,” said Gitta Trauernicht, the vice-president of SOS Children’s Villages International.

A significant gap exists between the theory behind child rights and the way they are put into practice across the world. On Human Rights Day children are crying out. for quality care. For those without parental care, or at risk of losing it, the consequences can be especially severe and potentially irreversible.

*National assessments of a country’s obligations under the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. Countries assessed; Armenia, Colombia, Croatia Lithuania, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay