Across the globe 8 million children are living in institutions that deny them individual love and care. More than 80% are not orphans. They are separated from their families because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. As a result, many suffer lifelong physical and emotional harm.
Despite most having families who love them, 8 million children worldwide live in institutions because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. A small percentage are in institutions due to behavioural problems or due to being abused or neglected. This is a violation of their rights.
Many children are institutionalised because local schools are not adapted to teach children with physical or learning disabilities and local health services cannot provide specialised care. Social services are insufficient to meet the needs of poor families or protect children from abuse.
Decision makers resist closing institutions because they cannot imagine a system of family based care and lack the resources to fund and manage the change. Personnel resist for fear of losing their jobs. Stigma attached to children in care makes communities reluctant to accept them.