You can do one thing now to ensure that no child in Europe has to live in an institution deprived of love and exposed to harm. Ask decision-makers to ensure EU funds are used to create a Europe where every child lives in a loving family. Sign our petition.
A million children need your help
Across Europe and Central Asia, approximately one million children live in large residential institutions that seriously harm their health and development. When these children grow up and leave institutions, they struggle to integrate into the outside world. They are 10 times more likely than their peers to be involved in prostitution, 40 times more likely to have a criminal record and 500 times more likely to commit suicide.
Sign the petition
Institutionalisation denies children individual love and care, seriously harms their health and development, exposes them to increased risk of abuse and sexual exploitation and condemns many to an adult life of risk and under-achievement.
Research suggests that young people raised in institutions are 10 times more likely than their peers to be involved in prostitution, 40 times more likely to have a criminal record and 500 times more likely to commit suicide.
We urge Members of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission to support vulnerable children now, by ensuring the use of structural funds for:
- The transition from institutions to family and community based services
- The full implementation of the EU’s commitments under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including the right to live and be included in the community
- The full implementation of all EU Member States' commitments under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the rights to be cared for by their birth family, to be provided with health and education services and to have their opinion heard and respected.
Under no circumstances should these funds be used to build new institutions for children or to renovate existing ones, as this prolongs the period of time children are exposed to risk of serious harm.