An orphanage is
no place for a child

Calling for Change

Take Action: Charities

Charities and NGOs play an important role in society and with that comes a number of key responsibilities such as doing no harm and working for the public benefit. Due to the special considerations charities and NGOs receive, such as public trust and tax exemptions, it is incumbent on them to act ethically and professionally at all times, and to follow best-practice in their area of work.

In 1989 the countries of the world published the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a rulebook and best-practice guide on the rights and care of children. While many charities and NGOs apply the Convention (especially the larger trusts and foundations), others simply act as they see best, more from emotion and compassion than from a professional child welfare position. They ignore some of the key elements of the Convention and the best-practice guidelines.

Setting up and running orphanages that keep children in residential care on a long-term basis is ignoring a critical part of the Convention and denies children their right to a family life.

Calling on charity / NGO trustees

We call on charity trustees to recognise and act on children's rights to a family life. Rather than placing efforts into supporting children in orphanages, we call on them to direct their charity's efforts to seeking positive solutions that reunite children with their families and that strengthen families so children are not abandoned into orphanages in the first place.

Calling on charity / NGO staff

We call on all charity and NGO staff to recognise and act on children's rights and to influence their programmatic, policy and advocacy work in ways that ensure those rights are observed. We call on them to transform any projects aimed at keeping children in orphanages into projects that keep children in loving families.

Calling on charity / NGO oversight organisations

We call on all organisations that regulate the registration and activities of charities and NGOs to ensure they are all guided by the principles of human and children's rights.

Calling on those who donate to charities / NGOs

We call on all individual donors, trusts, foundations, companies, organisations and governments that support charities and NGOs to ensure that the policies and practices of the charities they support do not deny children their right to life in a family. We call on them to stop supporting orphanages that keep children in residential care on a long-term basis and rather support positive, long-term initiatives that give children what they truly need - a happy and healthy life in a loving family.

Best-practices in childcare and of the rights of children worldwide can be found in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

The REPLACE Campaign is supported by International Child Campaign

Child Protection Policy in Relation to Campaigning and Website Images (pdf 370 KB)