- September 16, 2021

Today and tomorrow, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) will hold its Day of General Discussion on the Children’s Rights and Alternative Care, as part of its 81st session. The event will be held online and will include two plenary sessions and five thematic working groups in parallel, throughout the two days. You can find the Programme of Work here.

Speakers include CRC Committee members, CRPD Committee chair Rosemary Kayess, States’ representatives, children with lived experience of alternative care, representatives from civil society, and academia.

IDA hopes that this occasion constitutes a step forward for the actors involved to embrace and go in the direction of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which upholds the latest and highest standard in this matter, requesting States to eradicate the practice of placing children in institutions, whatever their size and name (e.g., small scale groups homes), and ensure children with disabilities without parental care “alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family setting” (Article 23(5) of the Convention).

In the lead up to this Day of General Discussion, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) submitted a written contribution that you can find here. The submission requests that the Committee on the Rights of the Child call on States to adopt and reinforce measures to provide support to parents of children with disabilities in performing child-rearing responsibilities, to refrain from and prevent disability-based discrimination against all persons with disabilities in the exercise of their parental rights, including legislative reform, and to adopt a comprehensive strategy for prevention of institutionalization. The submission also requests the full de-institutionalization of children with disabilities, in consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities, including measures to:  

  • Develop family based alternative care systems inclusive of children with disabilities, including for those cases of individual emergency.
  • Stop the development and funding, and dismantle and phase out any other care system based on residential institutions, regardless of their size.
  • Develop response systems so that, when facing an individual emergency (sudden abandonment or loss of parental care), they are able to immediately strive to find a family setting-based solution for the child with disability.

In addition, IDA collaborated with other organizations and launched the “Call to Action: Protect the right to family life and prevent institutionalization for all children”. For now, 145 organizations around the globe and 77 individuals with a related background support the Call to Action, which was shared with the members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Find it here and we hope to count with your endorsement!

IDA will be closely following the conversations and posting relevant interventions on social media - on Twitter @IDA_CRPD_Forum.

You will find more information on the Day of General Discussion on the website of the Committee on the Rights of the Child here.

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