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23 May 2012
There are 24 million children worldwide growing up without the safety or care of a family. That’s 24million children growing up alone, more at risk of violence and exploitation. 24 million children who are neglected and forgotten. EveryChild is working tirelessly to change the world for these children by getting them back into safe, caring families. But we can’t do it alone. This is why EveryChild is calling on politicians, decision-makers and the public to take action and ensure UN’s new development goals prioritise the world’s most vulnerable children.
Today the plight of children growing up without parental care and the steps we all need to take to ensure all children grow up safe and protected in families were highlighted at a very special EveryChild event held in the State Rooms, Speaker’s House in Parliament. We also launched a paper A safe family for every child: An agenda for action outlining three key areas of action societies, governments, UN agencies and non governmental organisations should focus on over the next 10 years to ensure a safe family for every child. Read our Agenda for action here.
In 1996, world leaders agreed on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people by 2015, including halving extreme poverty and ensuring universal primary education. As we approach the deadline to these goals it is shocking that 24 million children are still growing up alone without the protection of their families. Children growing up without families are far more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, in fact the damaging effects of losing parental care have been shown to undermine the achievement of the MDGs. We need to make sure children without parental care are considered in future goals so that development efforts are not undermined again.
It was recently announced that Prime Minister David Cameron will co-Chair the UN committee that will establish a new set of development goals. This gives the Prime Minister a unique opportunity to ensure that family-life is valued within the new goals and, as part of their development, vulnerable children and their communities are consulted.
EveryChild Chief Executive, Anna Feuchtwang, says, “All children deserve the same high quality care and service provision that is now being planned for the UK. If they’re not given the same level of care, their future is blighted by extreme abuse, malnutrition and poverty.”
Our experience of working directly with children and together with local partners leads us to believe that major progress can be made. With a new set of development goals in the pipeline, now is the time to take action, remember the importance of family and reduce the number of children living without parental care around the world.