Most orphans have living parents

Poverty, not the death of a parent, is filling orphanages, the report says

Published on Africalink, November 24, 2009.

At least four out of five children in orphanages around the world have a living parent, a leading charity says.

In a report, Save the Children says some institutions coerce or trick poor parents to give up their children.

As a result, the report says, millions of children are put at risk through living in an institution, and face rape, trafficking and beatings …

… Unscrupulous:   

Save the Children says about eight million children are known to be living in orphanages and similar institutions around the world, but the actual number could be much higher as many are not registered.

The report says children have become “commodities” in a growing industry.

“Unscrupulous institutions are known to recruit children in order to profit from international adoption and child trafficking,” the report says.

“This trend is exacerbated by the fact that many public and private care providers receive funding on the basis of the numbers of resident children in their care. They are, therefore, keen to maintain high head counts.”

Report author Corinna Csaky added: “It is a myth that children in orphanages have no parents. Most are there because their parents simply can’t afford to feed, clothe and educate them.”

The BBC’s Will Ross, in Kenya, says many children there have been forced on to the streets by poverty, the effects of HIV/Aids and last year’s inter-tribal violence … (full text).



Save the Children.

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