Press Release – November 23 2018

Children Without Parental Care Addressed in UN ‘Rights of the Child’ Resolution for 2019

Children's rights and child advocacy addressed in new UN resolution

New York, 23 November, 2018 – The newly selected theme for the 2019 UN Resolution on the ‘Rights of the Child’ will ensure governments’ commitments to improve the lives and fulfill the rights of millions of children who have lost parental care.

On Tuesday, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) selected its theme for the ‘Rights of the Child’ resolution for 2019. In a historic first, the UN has selected a resolution that focuses on ‘children without parental care’. The resolution will be tabled at the UN General Assembly in 2019.

SOS Children’s Villages International (SOS CVI) applauds UN Member States for this decision and will offer its 70 years of expertise and learnings in support of negotiating Member States’ efforts to ensure that the rights of these children are upheld and fulfilled. In its advisory and expert role in diverse international fora, SOS CVI works to ensure international commitments to and awareness of children without parental care with the aim of strengthening the laws that will protect them and future generations, thereby effecting a sustainable approach to the protection of children. 

SOS CVI worked in partnership with a coalition of 80 non-governmental organizations to express its support to governments proposing this theme for the 2019 ‘Rights of the Child’ Resolution. “We are privileged to work with many committed colleagues from across the child rights community to bring global attention to the situation of children without parental care.  As practitioners in over 130 countries, we know that such focus is needed to enshrine the rights of children to quality care that meets their individual best interest,” said SOS Children’s Villages President Siddhartha Kaul.

Photo by Gerhard Berger


This week’s announcement represents the first step towards adopting the resolution in the UN General Assembly in 2019. Once adopted, even though a ‘soft law’ and legally non-binding, this resolution may become the most internationally recognised guidance for states and concerned stakeholders on protecting the rights of children without parental care or at risk of losing it.    

Applauding this historic milestone, Norbert Meder, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages International, added, “If the global community is truly committed to ensuring that no one is left behind in the world’s progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, it is the most vulnerable among us – children and youth without parental care – who we must focus our efforts in helping. Once adopted, this resolution will reflect the commitments of governments around the world to fulfill the rights of children and youth to quality care in their families and in alternative care.”

The resolution offers Member States the opportunity to initiate, further regulate and improve the child care policies that are being developed and implemented across the globe in an orderly, long-term and comprehensive manner. With the benefit of the resolution, the best interest of the child and the provisions of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children will be at the core of each step of the process.

During 2019, which also marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, SOS Children’s Villages International will also be working in partnership with other organizations in the care community, UNICEF and other stakeholders, to raise awareness about best practices in the implementation of the Guidelines and to identify outstanding challenges. SOS CVI’s goal is to support and advise Member States on policy development to prevent unnecessary family separation and to ensure that comprehensive child care systems are in place with suitable and individually adapted solutions for children placed in alternative care.

The newly selected theme for the 2019 UN “Rights of the Child” resolution will give guidance for all organisations and stakeholders involved in child care and protection to unite and work around these priorities and to ensure that every child can grow up in a caring family – because no child should grow up alone.

About SOS Children's Villages

SOS Children's Villages is the largest non-governmental organization focused on children without parental care and families at risk. The organization was founded in 1949 and today is present in 135 countries and territories, running more than 2,300 programs reaching more than a million children and adults. SOS Children's Villages adheres to the principle that every child grows best in a family environment, with loving parents or caregivers, living together with their siblings, in a place they can call home. SOS Children's Villages works with communities, local partners and authorities to support disadvantaged families, thus preventing family breakdown. When necessary and when it is deemed to be in the child's best interests, there is the option for children to grow up in a foster family or in an SOS Children's Villages family. SOS Children's Villages also aims to influence decision-makers to make changes in policies and practices in order to promote the well-being of children, especially of those without parental care. More information on SOS Children's Villages can be found at


International media contact

Kristina Vér Foley
International Director, Communications and Brand
Mobile: +43 676 456 84 25