19/11/2012 - “The first challenge is to find a safe house. They cannot stay on the street. Sometimes relatives or organisations support them. But, some are forced to leave their studies and get to a job to pay the bills.” “Those who are not supported sleep on the streets and are open to various types of abuse, blackmail and human trafficking. They are discriminated against because they were in alternative care,” says Eristjana Karcanaj and Marina Muca from Albania.
Addressing a discussion at the EU Parliament with their fellow care leavers from the I Matter, International Youth Council, young people have brought to light the alarming reality faced by their peers.
Through their participation as peer researchers in the acclaimed report When Care ends: Lessons from Peer Research, young people are demanding that leaders everywhere address the rights of the child who is leaving care today.
Their lesson is clear. Provide appropriate accommodation. Give guidance with regard to education and employment opportunities. Support the health and well-being of young people. Together, this will greatly influence the lives of care leavers.
To demonstrate a genuine commitment to Universal Children’s Day, November 20, the young peer researchers ask those committed to children, to read their unique insight on leaving care: Insight from Europe or specifically from Albania, the Czech Republic, Finland and Poland.