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UNICEF, United Nations Children's Fund
The ministerial conference under the theme ‘Ending the placement of children under three in institutions: Support nurturing families for all young children’, which took place in Sofia Bulgaria, 21 – 22 November 2012, was organized by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria in collaboration with UNICEF. It brought together 250 top-level governmental representatives across various sectors (social, health, education, labour, employment and family ministries) from 24 countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as high-level international experts. The event helped to articulate a strong political commitment to continuing and accelerating work in the area of child care reform, especially towards: reducing the number of infants abandoned at birth; reducing the number of children below three years old deprived of parental care and placed in institutional care; and increasing the number of children with disabilities maintained within their families.
Key priority actions identified by these governments: