15 May 2017 – International Day of Families
Families are the cornerstone of our work. Every year on 15 May, we celebrate the importance of all caregivers in families, be it parents, grandparents or siblings. This year, we focus on the the important role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth.
At Family for Every Child, because of our proximity to children, families and communities in our daily work, we see first hand the central role education can play in contributing to the well-being of children.
We believe that schools have a role to play to prevent children from falling prey to violence, abuse, and neglect. Safe schools can not only help prevent family separation, they can also help children to concentrate on their studies and remain in class, thus upholding their right to an education. Find out more about the links between education and care in our report, Schools that Care
We also believe that “education is essential to the successful reintegration of children” as we have outlined in the Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration, a comprehensive set of practical guidance and tools helping practitioners to pursue reintegration as the primary response in cases of separated children. Schools can support reintegrating children, for example, by combatting potential discrimination against returnee children and helping others to understand the challenges these children may face.
For most children, attending school is a normal part of the childhood experience. However, for many children experiencing poverty, violence, exploitation and abuse, or those who have been separated from their families due to conflict, disaster, mass migration or human trafficking, returning to school is often an important part of returning to ‘normal’ and of being part of a community once more.
In 2017, the International Day of Families highlights the importance of SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, and more specifically, Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
Family for Every Child and SDG 4
- We advocate for a rights-based approach in which children are at the centre.
- We conduct research that provides the evidence needed for our advocacy and technical cooperation work. Examples that advance SDG 4 are Schools that Care and the Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration.
- Our call for more effective collaboration between the education, child protection and care sectors globally will support the mutually reinforcing goals of children achieving rights to education and to adequate care and protection.
- We know that the challenges faced by separated children hinder several of the SDGs including those around growth, employment, poverty reduction and education.
- Our experience shows that in some cases, accessing education can actually lead to family separation, with children going to live in institutional care, extended families or with employers in order to get an education.
- In advocating for the reintegration of separated children, our research shows that separated children are less likely to attend or do well in school; more likely to engage in anti-social and criminal behaviours; and are far more vulnerable to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. The future prospects of these children are often severely limited. As adults, they are often less able to access employment and more likely to experience poverty and to be dependent on the state.