Human rights in alternative care

The goal of drastically reducing numbers of children living in institutions around the world has been a key focus of coherent efforts to realise children’s rights for over a decade, with important advances being made. Despite important shifts, there remain urgent actions needed to accelerate progress for this generation of children, today. Structural inequalities, discrimination, and a lack of accountability in service provision all work against these efforts. We know that evidence and data are a strategic lever that can drive change in this area. Yet, there remain serious gaps in our knowledge about children living in alternative care globally.

To support this drive for evidence, we’re working in partnership with UNICEF, Inspiring Children’s Futures, a partnership at the University of Strathclyde and SOS Children’s Villages in a Taskforce to help generate new insights into rights-respecting, community-based alternative care for children. With support from the Danish Government and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an International Expert Advisory Group meeting was held in 2022 and together it was agreed that we would develop research on fulfilling the human rights and well-being of children and young people in alternative care.

As the project is in its start-up phase, there are multiple opportunities to be collaborate and build synergies to ensure the human rights of all children in care are protected.

April 2024 : next steps and opportunities 

  • Developing a Research Advisory Group comprising international researchers from around the world with expertise in child development and well-being, human rights, and participatory research methodology (see attached terms of reference)
  • Developing an international Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (further information to be posted later).

Further information

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