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Bulgaria and UNICEF join forces to support families, end placement of children under three in institutions

SOFIA/GENEVA, 13 November 2012


The Republic of Bulgaria will host a two-day regional ministerial conference next week in collaboration with UNICEF to end placing children under three in institutions. Currently, the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia has 1.3 million children who are separated from their biological families. Half of them are placed in institutions while the youngest are at risk of severe developmental delays when growing up without a family.

The aim of the meeting is to urge the governments in the region to provide stronger support to vulnerable families so that the children who most need help are able to survive and thrive in nurturing environments.

A situation analysis of children under three in formal care will be launched. The report details the absence of valuable services or existing barriers barring the most vulnerable families from accessing them and what governments and societies can do to dismantle them. 



21 - 22 November 2012


Hotel Hilton in Sofia, Bulgaria


The opening speeches will be made by

  • Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Ms. Marie-Pierre Poirier, CEE/CIS Regional Director, UNICEF
  • Mr. Jan Jarab, OHCHR Regional Representative for Europe
  • European Commission Representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Janina Arsenjeva, Policy Director, Eurochild

Join the conversation on Twitter

Follow live tweeting, FB updates and share. Use the hashtag #Sofia4children #supportfamilies

Media opportunities

The press is kindly invited on Wednesday, 21 November 2012

  • to cover the opening of the conference from 9.00 a.m. – 10.00 a.m.
  • to interview key note speakers at 10.35 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.
On Thursday 22 November

  • to interview and get an update from key resource at 13.00 a.m. – 13.30 a.m.

For further information please visit the conference page

To set up interviews, please contact:

Jacklin Tzocheva
UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel + 359 88 868 3231

Lely Djuhari
UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS 
Tel + 41 792 0444 82



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