Children's rights

We are committed to working for and with children who have lost, or risk losing, parental care. These children are particularly vulnerable to suffering injustice and often miss out on their basic rights as children.

We stand up for children and help to inform communities and decision-makers about children’s rights. We encourage children to take an active part in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and to speak up for themselves and be heard.

124 million children and young people don’t go to school

230 million children living in areas affected by armed conflict

570 million children are living in extreme poverty

151 million children have lost one or both parents
Children’s rights are laid out in international, national and regional frameworks that establish the fundamental rights of each child. SOS Children’s Villages works with states and partners to help make sure children who have lost parental care or who risk losing it are protected, cared for and supported, ensuring their rights are recognised and respected.

As a leading organisation in the development of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, we are global leaders in safeguarding children without, or at risk of losing, parental care. We also partner with other recognised organisations to promote and protect children’s rights. This includes supporting efforts to strengthen families so children through our family strengthening programme can stay with their family or origin.

We believe all children have basic human rights as established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child – a set of international laws adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. This document and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child spell out basic human rights for all children – and are the foundations of all our work.

Standing up for children’s rights

We stand up for children’s rights through a range of actions to make sure they can live in dignity and thrive:
  • We advocate for the implementation of children’s rights
  • We inform and raise awareness about children’s rights and the challenges vulnerable children are facing
  • We partner with other leading organisations and stakeholders to promote children’s rights to achieve the greatest possible impact for children
  • We share knowledge and shape discussions about improvement and innovation of alternative care

A sustainable future for children

SOS Children’s Villages is helping to build a sustainable future for all children. We put children and young people at the very centre of our actions to support the Sustainable Development Goals, that aim to end extreme poverty by 2030.

We recognise that every single child has a right to be included in global efforts to make sustainable development a reality.