Children’s Rights and Alternative Care

Keystone Humans Services is pleased to support the Call to Action: Protect the right to family life and prevent institutionalization for all children. This Call to Action contributes to global efforts to promote consistent interpretation and enforcement of international human rights law regarding children with disabilities. We know that children with disabilities are over-represented in institutional care and more likely to be deprived of their right to family care.[1] The Call to Action advocates for children with disabilities to be at the center of all prevention and deinstitutionalization efforts. Guidance from international human rights mechanisms such as the CRPD and the Convention on the Rights of the Child should be coordinated to strengthen protections of the right to family life. It also calls for the end of institutionalization, regardless of the institution’s size, and for the global community to make every effort to support family-based care.

We recognize and affirm that the goal is for all children to live in families. We strive to make this a reality through our family strengthening initiatives, developing community-based services, and advocacy at the national and international levels. We take a systems change approach to ensure that children and families are members of inclusive communities. 

The Call to Action was authored by our partners at Inclusion International and Validity Foundation, among others, in advance of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Day of General Discussion (DGD). This year’s DGD will take place on September 16-17 during the 88th session of the Committee of the CRC at the United Nations Office in Geneva, in an online format. The theme is “Children’s Rights and Alternative Care.” We look forward to participating.

[1] van Ijzendoorn, M.H., et al. 2020. Institutionalisation and deinstitutionalisation of children 1: a systematic and integrative review of evidence regarding effects on development. The Lancet Psychiatry. Vol 7 Issue 8, P 703-720. DOI