On 22nd of September, during the regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Working Group on «Children without Parental Care» held a Side Event promoting the need to prevent unnecessary family separation. All around the world, millions of children and their families encounter huge difficulties due to various reasons, including political, economic, health and environmental. Against this backdrop, child and family care stakeholders should invest in children and families so that they can develop to their potential and better form part of their societies. Investing in children and families is a multifaceted component, encompassing elements including prevention, family and parenting support, deinstitutionalisation and child participation, all of which designate issues highlighted in the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
During the side event, which was co-sponsored by IFSW, the issue of investing in children and their families to avoid unnecessary separation was well covered by the contributions of the panellists. Among them were the current chairperson of the UN Children’s Rights Committee, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, as well as the former chairperson, Maria Herczog. In addition, as Pascal Rudin, IFSW Representative to the UN Geneva highlights, «there were high quality interventions from the floor, personal and heart-warming from the Vietnamese Ambassador, excellent for reminding the audience about the existing HRC resolution on investing in children from Uruguay and very practical in terms of what is occurring for example in Portugal».
Whilst the time was short in terms of discussions, the main message about the importance of investing in children and their families in various vulnerable contexts was disseminated. As Benyam ended his presentation, it is «not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do».
The side event’s mini publication can be downloaded in three languages: