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Children’s rights

As a leading organisation in the development of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, we are global leaders in safeguarding children without, or at risk of losing, parental care.

SOS Children’s Villages works with states and partners to help make sure children who have lost parental care or who risk losing it are protected, cared for and supported, ensuring their rights are recognised and respected.

We are committed to working for and with children, informing communities and decision-makers about children’s rights. We encourage children to take an active part in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. We encourage them to speak up for themselves and be heard.

Children’s rights are laid out in international, national and regional frameworks that establish the fundamental rights of each child. All children have basic human rights as established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child spell out basic human rights for all children – and are the foundations of all our work.

Standing up for children’s rights

We stand up for children’s rights through a range of actions:

  • We advocate for the implementation of children’s rights
  • We inform and raise awareness about children’s rights and the challenges vulnerable children are facing
  • We partner with other leading organisations and stakeholders to promote children’s rights to achieve the greatest possible impact for children
  • We share knowledge and shape discussions about improvement and innovation of alternative care.

Defending the rights of refugee children

SOS Children’s Villages advocates for the rights of refugee children at the national and international level.

Through our connections with international institutions such as the UN and EU, and national and local governments around the world, we are campaigning for refugee children and their families fleeing violence, disaster and persecution to be treated with dignity and given the opportunity to seek sanctuary safely and legally.

We assert that every child deserves respect, and the utmost care for their physical and psychological health. Children should be treated as children, whatever their immigration status or that of their parents, and their best interests must always be placed above political or practical concerns.

It is unacceptable for children to end up alone, destitute, on the streets, living in detention, in squalid camps or any other inhumane condition. They should not be imprisoned for a situation beyond their control or separated from families who love and protect them.

SOS Children’s Villages is campaigning for:

  • Expansion of safe regular channels for refugees, including resettlement, to save lives and ensure refugees are not forced to rely on smugglers
  • An end to the immigration detention of children
  • Unsupported child refugees to be given proper care
  • Refugee family reunion

Read our position papers

Refugee family Reunion | Child refugee resettlement | Rohingya crisis

A sustainable future for children

SOS Children’s Villages is helping to build a sustainable future for all children. We put children and young people at the centre of our actions to support the Sustainable Development Goals.

SOS Children’s Villages is working with partners and governments to help ensure the Sustainable Development Goals are successful at reducing child poverty, improving access to education, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, reducing inequalities, and making sure young people and families have access to decent employment.

Tackling these global issues is central to our strategy to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the world.

Working in partnership

You can partner with us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal targets with the greatest impact for vulnerable children and young people. By funding our work and lending your skills and expertise to SOS Children’s Villages UK you are ensuring we can continue our work to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, guarantee access to quality education and decent work, and tackle climate change.

Your support is invaluable to achieving these goals and by partnering with SOS Children’s Villages UK you become part of a global movement aimed at improving the lives of people around the world

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