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Fast facts

An additional 52 million children

Were enrolled in primary school globally from 1999 to 2008.

UNICEF SOS roundtable

Print version
20 April 2012
Press release

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 20 April 2012. — Key members of Regional Departments for Inspectors of Guardianship and Trusteeship and Regional Commissions of Minors from across Uzbekistan met together today in Tashkent to discuss practical aspects of implementation of the UN Guidelines on Alternative Care and thus to strenghen the protection of children without parental care. The roundtable meeting was convened jointly by the SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan Association and UNICEF. Representatives of Ministries of Education, Health, Labour and Social Protection and the Office of Prosecutor-General also took part in the meeting.

Theroundtable equipped front line decision makers with knowledge and toolsto provide care for children in their own families. The UN Guidelines on Alternative Care were discussed to understand and promoteideas foralternative forms of family type care rather than placing children in institutions.

The family holds the fundamental responsibility and provides the best natural environment for the growth,well-being and protection of children. It is important to ensure that children remain with their families and are not placed in institutions unless it is an action of last resort and is in the best interest of the child. Family support services should assist children and their parents to prevent any separation. If however, children are separated from their family, every effort should be made to reunite them as soon as possiblewith their parents or, when appropriate, other close family members. The use of suitable alternative forms of family-type care such as foster care should be consideredwhilst these efforts are being made to re-unite children with their own family.

Many studies show that there can bemany harmfulsocial and developmental consequences for children who have beeninstitutionalised which may affect them for the rest of their life. They can grow up to have very low self-esteem, inability to trust others and this may even lead to suicide attempts. Lack of confidence and reduced cognitive abilities can also lead to weak performanceat school and consequent poor employment opportunities. All research shows that children have the best developmental opportunities whenall efforts are made to ensure they can be offered love, care and support inside their own family.

Ms. Christine Gale, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, and Ms. Gulchekhra Nigmadjanova, SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan Advocacy Advisor,conducted interactive workshop activitiesintroducing key principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Children and the UN Guidelines on Alternative Care and creating a platform for panel discussions. The participants brainstormed over and reflected on how to ensure appropriateness and necessity principles are best implemented intheir own work to safeguard children.

For further information, please contact:

UNICEF Uzbekistan: Ms. Christine Gale, Child Protection Specialist, at (99871) 2339512

SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan Association: Ms. Gulchekhra Nigmadjanova, SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan Advocacy Advisor, at (99871) 1203783

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