Children outside: the situation of orphans worldwide

    Orphans and children without parental care require special protection and care. However, their special needs are often ignored, and their rights violated.

    The state of orphans, hope now their chances of survival and development are also a measure of the general social, political and economic conditions in a state and a society. Although the situation of orphans has improved in some areas and in certain regions, on the contrary, everything cannot be made clear. Even simple numbers get scared.

    What is an orphan?

    An orphan is a child who has lost one or both parents. One difference between full and half orphans. Children who have only one parent are called half-orphans. About ten percent (15.1 million) of all orphans worldwide have lost their mother and father, making them orphans.

    How many orphans in the world?

    There is no reliable total number of all orphans. There are approximately 140 million orphans worldwide (source: UNICEF, 2015). Of these, 61 million live in Asia, 52 million in Africa, 10 million in Latin America and the Caribbean and 7.3 million in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In many countries there are no statistical surveys of children growing up without parents or other caregivers.

    This be a sign that these children are receiving little or no support, their existence is being veiled and there is no serious political will to take care of their well-being.

    Stigma and fight for the survival of orphans.

    The fact is that several million children grow up around the world without parental care, either as full or average orphans or because families cannot take care of their children. A look at different countries on different continents shows the different reasons for the loss of the family of origin. Other points are: What alternative forms of childcare are there? What social status do orphans have? And to what extent do the often-critical living conditions of orphans and children without parental care reflect the general situation of children’s rights in the respective country?

    Alternative care is often insufficient

    Almost every country in the world has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is also reflected in legislation and government initiatives to protect children. Now there are also recommendations and catalogs of measures, such as the UN guidelines on alternative care for children (in which SOS Children’s Villages played an important role), which define clear guidelines and standards for high-quality and friendly alternative care for children. Children out of the biological. family that takes care of the interests of each individual child. However the practice of childcare is far from these recommendations in many areas, to the extreme case that a child is homeless or caregivers at all.

    Although many countries try to guarantee a minimum of standards in care centers, there is often a lack of material and human resources and the mechanisms necessary to control the quality of care. Very often, institutional child care in traditional homes and orphanages is the only response to the loss of the family of origin; Family-oriented models (for example, adoptive parents, small family-oriented care units, such as in SOS Children’s Villages, adoption) are individual phenomena.

    Orphans in South Africa

    Due to the large number of orphans in South Africa, the most widespread form of childcare is “regulated” in the informal area, that is, in extended family care or by community members. However, in many cases, family associations (grandparents, older children as family managers) have almost no resources to provide children with the essentials. Institutional care centers, such as children’s homes, are growing rapidly in countries like Zimbabwe, but there is a serious lack of adequate infrastructure, the corresponding qualifications of pedagogical staff and child protection measures. Financial and advisory support and state quality controls are often inadequate or non-existent.

    Extreme disadvantage for orphans

    Life on the exposed and de facto street that threatens life is the last stop of a child who cannot live in his family of origin. But even children without an organic family who are cared for somehow run the risk of having much less opportunity for healthy development and a supportive environment than their peers with the family. The range of threats is large and ranges from extreme disadvantages (insufficient access to education, medical care, balanced nutrition, etc.) to social stigmatization and marginalization, to the fact that the loss of the family is basically a serious trauma that affects a person. for life, and under certain circumstances severely affected if he did not receive help to cope with it in childhood. It has been shown that orphans suffer massive forms of discrimination, whether their inheritance is withheld and, for example, the biological children of surrogate parents are preferred within the extended family, whether they have to suffer violence, exploitation and abuse , that their destiny be decided without any possibility of participation, or that they find limited educational and training opportunities, whether they will marry before in Nepal, as in the case of underage girls, whether they will be given high when they reach the age of majority and do not know where to go.

    The stigma of abandonment.

    The nimbus of misfortune is linked to orphans, even if many people feel a deep sympathy for orphaned and abandoned children and the desire to do something for them. The realities of the lives of millions of children without parental care are not affected. The social perception and stereotypes that orphans will achieve nothing and will not be able to cope with their lives have a fatal effect on the general social responsibility of the weakest members. This can take extreme forms, such as in Nepal, where children are sometimes blamed for the death of their parents, or the less well-known, as in the basic view that the state must deal with it.

    Lack of attention, inadequate attention, ignorance and discrimination can dramatically intensify the trauma of orphans and, ultimately, ensure that they don’t really succeed.