Ending the use of orphanages for children is at the heart of the EU’s new Strategy on the Rights of the Child.
With our partners at Hope and Homes for Children, we’ve reviewed the strategy and are especially pleased that it emphasises every child’s right to live with a family as part of a community and its commitment to invest in the move from institutions to family and community-based care for children, not just in the European Union but across the globe.
We are however deeply concerned that current wording about the Child Guarantee, one of the main deliverables of the Strategy, allows children to be placed in institutions “as a last resort”. Extensive evidence shows institutions can inflict long term harms to children’s development and expose them to all manner of human rights abuses, making them totally unacceptable - even as a last resort. It’s essential the Council agrees when they review the proposal, and removes any reference to institutions ‘as a last resort’ before the Guarantee gets approved.
In the coming weeks and months, Lumos and Hope and Homes for Children will undertake a more detailed analysis of both the Child Rights Strategy and proposal for a European Child Guarantee and consider how to support their implementation.
“It is very encouraging to see the EU placing Children’s Rights high on the political agenda, by adopting a Child Rights Strategy and Child Guarantee. Too many children are still being left behind and these new measures have huge potential to transform the life chances of some of our most vulnerable children and ensure children are no longer placed in institutions. We therefore encourage Member States to swiftly adopt a Council Recommendation on the Child Guarantee and work together with the European Commission to make both initiatives a great success.”