Children and adolescents without parental care in Latin America: Contexts, causes and consequences of being deprived of the right to family and community

RELAF and SOS Children’s Villages International

This paper is based on "The Latin American Report. The situation of children in Latin America without parental care or at risk of losing it. Contexts, causes and responses," which was prepared using reports from 13 countries in the region. These reports were compiled by SOS Children's Villages, in the countries where the organisation has offices, in order to establish the circumstances of children without parental care or in vulnerable situations. It should be noted that there was limited data available in much of the region, either official or from academic bodies or organisations dedicated to protecting child rights. As such, the reader will find that both in this paper and the Latin American report, key information is missing for some of the 13 countries studied. Nevertheless, with the situation of Latin American children as a backdrop, this paper is a huge step forward, giving an overview of the state of one of the most fundamental rights - the right to parental care, a keystone for the right to live in a family and a community.

This paper is intended as a valuable source of information for those working in alternative care and key players in other sectors who work to raise visibility and awareness and to implement suitable solutions to this issue: the media and society as a whole. The paper is also meant to contribute to increased knowledge, reflection and implementation of the best options for childcare, so that our children can enjoy the right to live in a family and a community.