End placing children under three years in institutions - a call to action! IFCO at the invitation-only "Sub-Regional Workshop on Rights of Children Aged 0-3 Years"
IFCO Board member Chris Gardiner represented IFCO at the invitation-only "Sub-Regional Workshop on Rights of Children Aged 0-3 Years" which was jointly organised by OHCHR Europe & UNICEF CEE / CIS offices following the publication of their recent report “At Home or In a Home?” (link below).
IFCO first raised this issue in a paper presented to the UN CRC Committee's Day of General Discussion in 2005. This was followed by the MAKE BABY HOMES HISTORY! campaign. IFCO was also a strong advocate in getting this sentence included in the 2009 United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children: "In accordance with the predominant opinion of experts, alternative care for
young children, especially those under the age of 3 years, should be provided in family-based settings."
( UN Guidelines in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian @ http://www.crin.org/BCN/initiatives.asp )
In August 2011 IFCO published this statement & the full report “At Home or In a Home?” >>> "UNICEF and OHCHR urge Governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to put an end to sending children below three years, including children with disabilities, into institutional care.
A recent UNICEF Report, “At Home or In a Home?” (link below) makes the case that little has changed in child care reform in the past twenty years and it is time to bring an end to the practice of placing children in state run orphanages. Placement in institutional care of children below three years of age must be restricted to a short-term emergency measure or a planned stay not exceeding six months, and only as a last resort, when it is absolutely necessary and in the best interest of the child.
The current situation in the region supports such a strategic shift. The most recent state-of-the-art knowledge on the impact of institutional care on child development as well as international and European standards related to the alternative care of children justify priority being given to young children in policy, budget allocation and services development. We believe the time to act is now. We need to work together to make a change.”