UN Human Rights Council – 28 March 2019

Empowering children with disabilities

The 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was concluded with a resolution to empower children with disabilities. SOS Children’s Villages International raised awareness on quality alternative care during the session.

Closing the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Member States adopted a resolution on empowering children with disabilities.

The resolution urges states to take appropriate measures to ensure the rights of children with disabilities in all areas of life.

In reference to alternative care, the resolution calls on states to “replace institutionalization with appropriate measures to support family and community-based services, undertaking every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family setting, bearing in mind the best interests of the child and taking into account the child’s will and preferences”.

SOS Children’s Villages International’s involvement during the Human Rights Council session

SOS Children’s Villages International, together with child rights partners, actively raised awareness of children without parental care and quality alternative care in the context of the Human Rights Council session.

Together with key child rights organisations, SOS Children’s Villages International co-organised the side event “Promoting Quality Alternative Care for Children with Disabilities”, on 5 March and endorsed an oral and written statement delivered to the Human Rights Council by Child Rights Connect, a coalition of NGOs.

The written statement highlights the need to prioritise quality care for children with disabilities in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children. According to the statement, Member States should also promote the rights of the child in alternative care settings.

The oral statement was delivered on 4 March during the Human Rights Council’s annual full day meeting on the Rights of the Child, which focused on empowering children with disabilities. The statement calls on UN Member States and the UN to consider the particular vulnerability of children with disabilities and to adequately implement rights frameworks such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The UN Human Rights Council resolution on empowering children with disabilities will also inform other relevant processes such as the negotiations around a UN resolution on children without parental care which will take place later this year in New York.

Main photo: SOS Children Village Jorpati, Nepal

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