Across the world there are an estimated 8m children in institutional care or orphanages. Of those vast number in orphanages, research has shown 80% are not orphans. Indeed, they have one or more living parents.
The ChildSafe Movement is a global child protection system established by social enterprise Friends-International. It creates protective and supportive networks for children through training and supporting key and strategic members of communities, raising awareness and promoting behaviour change among the general population and supporting behaviour change among tourists and travelers to reduce their social footprint.
Eearlier this year the ChildSafe Movement launched the global campaign ‘Don’t Create More Orphans’ in partnership with UNICEF and USAID aimed at behaviour change in donors who currently support children being kept in harmful institutions such as orphanages.
The unnecessary institutionalization of children has become a global concern. In Cambodia for example, a UNICEF/Royal Government of Cambodia report ‘With Best Intentions’, published in 2012, highlighted that most children in the increasing number of Cambodian orphanages opened over the last decade were not orphans and did not need to be in institutional care. It also highlighted how many institutions were inadequate in providing a duty of care or protection for those children and how many of them were run as profit-making businesses with children being exploited and families broken up in the process.
The proliferation of these institutions is down to the generosity of unknowing donors – the public, the foundations, and the faith-based organizations who plough millions of dollars annually into supporting a critically flawed and harmful industry, the global orphanage business.
If you or your company are currently supporting, or are thinking of supporting institutional or orphanage care options, ChildSafe urges you to think again.
Visit www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforedonating/ for information and advice on how you can play your part in the global movement to protect children and really help them.