Open Letter from the Regional CSO Consultation on Children in Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic States

Summary: This Open Letter was presented to the delegates of the Intergovernmental Conference in
Berlin regarding the status of children in the region.

Open Letter from the Regional CSO Consultation on Children in Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic States and Turkey.

We write you as the delegates of the civil society organizations in 27 countries in CEE/CIS and the Baltic States. There is an urgent need to resolve the crisis facing this region’s children.

The transition has been longer and more painful than expected, and has produced a crisis for children in every country, a dramatic decline in living standards and over 68 million children and young people living in poverty in this region.

It is shocking to realise that in our Region we have:

  • over one million children in institutional care
  • over 700 000 people with HIV/AIDS
  • it is the only region in the world to show a decline in certain indicators for children’s health and education since 1990
  • over one million children who have been displaced, are refugees, or suffer other consequences of the many and long term armed conflicts in the region
  • millions of children who face discrimination and are affected by abuse, violence and exploitation

We must act boldly and with determination to:

  • support family care and dismantle the system of institutional placement of children
  • work energetically to defeat HIV/AIDS
  • create high quality standards for health and education
  • ensure that all of our children grow up in a secure environment free from armed conflict
  • create an environment for meaningful child and youth participation at all levels
  • create a Region fit for ALL children, where any form of discrimination is unacceptable

Among the major positive outcomes of the last decade is the emergence and strengthening of a new force for change, the civil society organization.

In the next decade every country must have the legislation and the political will to enable governments to engage with civil society on all issues, from strategizing and policy and decision making, to implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

Now is the time to act, as leaders of our nations, as civil society organisations and above all as parents.

Urgently needed social change will not happen without partnership between governments and civil society.

It is an historic occasion and an historic opportunity and it is one that we have a great responsibility not to miss. We, the representatives of civil society commit ourselves to creating a child-friendly world.

Now it is your turn to say YES for children.



    Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.