EveryChild believes the separation of children from their families or usual carers in developing countries is seriously undermining attempts to build healthy communities and meet development goals. Articles 7,8 and 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child state that children have the right to be cared for by their parents, that governments must respect family ties and children should only be separated from their families if it is in the best interests of the child.
However, there is very little policy and research around separation as a global issue with most NGOs and governments preferring to focus on analysis of specific groups of vulnerable children such as street children or child labourers. EveryChild believes that the additional damage of separation is hidden within these groupings. A lack of understanding of the specific situations and needs of highly marginalised separated children means that many interventions may fail to target their specific needs. It is essential that research is undertaken that looks at separation as a specific issue to ensure that interventions reach the most vulnerable children within these and other groupings. EveryChild hopes this paper and the research planned to follow will enrich our understanding of separation as a global development issue and enable us to advocate more effectively on behalf of children separated or at risk of being so.