On the occasion of the Global Disability Summit, the UK Government became the first major donor of its kind to explicitly commit to promoting family and community-based care for all children.
Championing families and not orphanages, Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, announced:
Orphanages are harmful to children and it is often those with disabilities who are placed in them the most. This needs to end, which is why I’m committed to the long-term plan to ensure all children grow up with a family of their own.
Led by specialist international charity Hope and Homes for Children, an alliance of organizations – formed of the UBS Optimus Foundation and top law firms Allen and Overy and Clifford Chance – have joined forces to echo the UK Government’s commitment and support global change for children trapped in orphanages, especially those with disabilities who are the furthest left behind. The launch of the new ‘Private Sector Pact’ sets out a pathway for change to make sure businesses can play a leading role in ending the growing problem of orphanages in the developing world.
At the UBS Optimus Foundation we share the UK’s pledge to all children realizing their right to family care – and that no child is left behind. We are committed to making sure that we do not contribute towards the institutionalization of children; and to instead support family and community based services.
Our foundation is a proud signatory to the Private Sector Pact, which is set out in full below.
Sally Faiz, Head Philanthropic Programs
Private Sector Pact
In strong support of the UK Government’s commitment at the Global Disability Summit to help make families (and not orphanages) the reality for every child, and recognizing that institutionalization, in all its forms, harms children’s physical, emotional, psychological and psychosocial development – the undersigned organizations (comprising major multinational companies) have launched the ‘Private Sector Taskforce’, to help eliminate orphanages within our lifetime. In-line with international treaties and best practice, including the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we share the UK’s pledge to all children realizing their right to family care - and that no child is left behind. We are committed to making sure that we contribute towards the institutionalization of children; and to instead support family and community based services. We are exploring how this approach can be integrated into our business models including through:
- Creating internal policy positions against resourcing institutions;
- Stopping support for orphanages throughout supplier networks;
- Redirecting resources towards family-based care;
- Encouraging the financial and legislative change required to transition away from orphanages;
- Where appropriate, seeking to influence the policy and practice of our sector peers, to create wider global consensus on making orphanages unacceptable.