ENIL has joined key disability rights networks and child rights groups – Disability Rights International (DRI), International Disability Alliance (IDA), European Disability Forum (EDF), Child Rights International Network (CRIN), International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IFSBH), Autism Europe, Inclusion International, Inclusion Europe, Validity and TASH – in a statement calling on the UN General Assembly to make no exceptions to a child’s right to grow up in a family, in the forthcoming resolution on children deprived of parental care.
The undersigned organisations state that “where States fail to meet their legal obligations to create the family-based support systems necessary to implement the right to family for all children, this is a human rights violation”. Where children are living without parental care, we call on the governments to create support services, so that children with and without disabilities have a range of options for living in the community in a family setting, including extended kinship care, foster care, or adoption, and including the maintenance of the child’s sibling relationships.
The Right to Family statement aims to ensure that the UN General Assembly on children without parental care does not condone the use of family-type care (i.e. small group homes) for children, as this would go against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). General Comment No 5, on living independently and being included in the community (Article 19 CRPD), is clear: “Large or small group homes are especially dangerous for children, for whom there is no substitute for the need to grow up with a family. “Family-like” institutions are still institutions and are no substitute for care by a family.”
ENIL is working together with allies to ensure that stakeholders representing disabled children and their families – groups that are disproportionately affected by the use of family-type settings – have a voice in policy processes at the international level, in accordance with the principle of “nothing about us, without us”.
Photo: Jessica Linder Jansson/JAG Association