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Stockholm Declaration on Children and Residential Care – 12-15 May, 2003

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Department of Social Work, Stockholm University

More than 600 individuals from governments, civil society and the research community from 71 countries participated at the second international conference on Children and Residential Care: New Strategies for a New Millennium, held in Stockholm 12 – 15 May 2003. The Stockholm Conference was preceded by national conferences in nearly 40 countries, during which country reports on the situation of children staying at institutions were prepared. The Declaration reaffirms State responsibilities to protect children’s rights by ensuring: prevention work (including fighting discrimination and supporting families); use of institutional care only as a last resort and as a temporary response; more effective monitoring of care systems in line with the UNCRC and agreed standards. Civil society organisations were encouraged to assist in the development of strategies to deinstitutionalise children and create alternatives; to promote non-discrimination; to mobilise communities to support families to prevent children from being deprived of family care; to push governments to fulfil their commitments under the UN CRC to children in public care; and to support children’s participation.

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