Child Abandonment and its Prevention in Europe

Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly states that every child has “the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents”. When a child is abandoned, this right is violated. Infants and young children are those most at risk of being abandoned. The purpose of this manual is to provide an overview of child abandonment and its prevention in Europe, exploring the extent of child abandonment, possible reasons behind this phenomenon, the consequences of abandonment, and good practices in terms of prevention. Country specific reviews of child abandonment and its prevention are provided for 10 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the UK). Through this effort, the manual will make three key contributions to the existing research on child abandonment. Firstly, it offers one step towards decreasing the paucity of literature regarding child abandonment and its prevention. Secondly, it provides valuable insight into a relatively unexplored phenomenon; and thirdly, it provides proactive recommendations that can be implemented at national and local level.

Published 2013-01-28

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