End placing children under three years in institutions - A call to action
BRUSSELS, 28 June 2011 - 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 UNICEF Report, “At Home or In a Home?” 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-theart 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.