On 18 November 2019, a workshop led by International Social Service Switzerland and Child Rights Connect was held in Geneva to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights on the Child (CRC), the 10th anniversary of the UN Guidelines on the Alternative Care of Children, and the 5th anniversary of Optional Protocol on the CRC on a communications procedure. The workshop was part of a three-day series of events marking the 30th anniversary of the CRC.
The objectives of this workshop were to:
- Highlight areas for celebration and where progress has been made for children and their families
- Pinpoint where further progress is needed and should be prioritized
- Identify opportunities for synergies to build on progress and respond to ongoing shortfalls
The event included 2-3 minute presentations, statements, and videos from key actors in children's care, organized around five themes. Please find the presentations and videos below.
Theme 1: Recognize and prioritize the role of families
- a collective message from young mothers about keeping children out of care, presented by Amanda Button of ATD Fourth World UK (see below)
- a video highlighting the learning of Angkor Hospital for Children social workers on preventing and responding to child abandonment in hospitals in Cambodia, presented by Better Care Network (see below)
Theme 2: Protect children without parental care and ensure high-quality, appropriate alternative care
- a statement from Marie Jenny of ISS on working with children with disabilities to set up foster carers in Burkina Faso (see below)
- a video on supporting informal kinship carers in Colombia (prepared by young people), presented by Taller de Vida of the Family for Every Child Alliance (see below)
Theme 3: Transitioning from institutional care
- a video on care reforms underway in Paraguay, presented by Alejandra Rodriguez of Enfoque Niñez a Family for Every Child Alliance member (see below)
- a video on engaging residential care providers in transitioning in Kenya, featuring the work of Child in Family Focus, presented by Better Care Network
- a video entitled 'Anu’s story: From care leaver to orphanage director to transforming children’s care in India' describing the work of Vanitashray, presented by World Without Orphans (see longer version below)
Theme 4: Ensure adequate financial and human resources, Improve data collection and regular reporting
- a presentation entitled 'Childonomics – Social and Economic Return on investment in Children' by Maria Herczog of Eurochild/Institute for Human Services (see below)
- a video from SOS Children's Villages Costa Rica on measuring progress in implementation of the Guidelines and Costa Rica’s use of the Tracking Progress Tool (see below)
Theme 5: Ensure full participation of children without parental or family care
- a speech from 16 year-old Zhenya Ershova, representing SOS Children's Villages in Ukraine, on the role of young people in pushing reforms for de-institutionalisation and the difficulties of doing so in armed conflict situations (see below)
- a presentation entitled 'Transforming Traumatic into Fruitful Ways' on the careleavers' experiences in Turkey, presented by Bayram Tunçbilek of the Hayat Sende Association (see below)
- a video on what children want from workers, based on the MOOC on alternative care, presented by Chrissie Gale, International child protection consultant
Each presentation concluded with an open question to the audience.
In addition to this workshop, a session on Child Protection was also held on 18 November 2019 where Becky Smith of Save the Children gave a presentation on Children Without Parental Care.