Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014

From institutions to families in Russia

When I first started working with children in care over 20 years ago, the UNCRC was still relatively new, but it was radical and revolutionary as a vision for children’s rights.

P4EC-web

At that time, when I was talking to decision-makers about children with disabilities dying in institutional care the UNCRC helped me to channel the energy triggered by my anger into a constructive response clearly rooted in the UNCRC.

The right to survival, to non-separation from parents, discrimination, decision-making based on best interests – the UNCRC provides a humanitarian, enlightened, clear and incontestable framework for all my work and enables communication with those who influence the lives of children and the care they receive.

When I first started working with children in care over 20 years ago, the UNCRC was still relatively new, but it was radical and revolutionary as a vision for children’s rights.”

The Guidelines complement the UNCRC as they elaborate on what is in the best interests of children when it comes to the right to non-separation from parents and to alternative care – determining the best interest is one of the most culturally laden and technically challenging aspects of decision-making about separation from parents and care. More importantly they emphasise strongly the absolute priority of establishing whether there is a necessity for a child to be in care at all and the need for state parties to develop family support and child protection system interventions that can support families and prevent unnecessary entry into care.

We will end up with a reduction of entries into alternative care of up to 85% if the UN Guidelines are realised”

I think the Guidelines can have far-reaching impact on children and families in Russia and the CEE/CIS region if they are fully realised – I think that we will end up with a reduction of entries into alternative care of up to 85% if the UN Guidelines are realised. And of course with fewer children in alternative care, it will be more possible to ensure that they have the best possible care with the best possible outcomes.