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International Community Calls for Prevention of Further Trauma in Haiti
Date:1/26/2010

International Guidelines Ensure Maximum Protection of Children

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just weeks after the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, the international community is struggling to provide appropriate care and protection for children and families in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. The Guidelines are the first international document on the care of children without parental care in non-emergency and emergency situations.

Now is the time to apply the Guidelines within a coordinated international relief effort in Haiti.

The Guidelines stress that in emergency situations, the primary goal is to trace and reunify children with their families to the maximum extent possible prior to any other permanent solution being pursued. Even in the worst disasters, such as this, most children have extended family members willing and able to care for them. No relief effort should inadvertently promote the separation of children from their immediate and extended family. In particular, children in emergency situations should not be moved to another country for the purpose of alternative care except temporarily for compelling health, medical or safety reasons. If the latter is necessary, the Guidelines stress that children should be moved as close as possible to their home, they should be accompanied by a parent or caregiver known to the child, and a clear return plan should be established.

The Government of Haiti, as well as all local, national and international governmental and non-governmental agencies should comply with the principles of the Guidelines, which include:

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SOURCE SOS Children's Villages - USA
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