Over 2.7 million children live in social homes and institutions. The largest share of these children is in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, where data show five times higher than the average of about 120 children per 100,000, according to data from official statistics from 140 countries around the world, presented by the United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF.
Despite the high share of children in social homes and sheltered homes in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria has been cited as a good example because of the fact that from 2000 to 2017 it managed to reduce the number of children in institutions by more than 75% . “Children living in institutional care – such as homes for children deprived of parental care – are twice as vulnerable: first, because they are separated from their families and relatives, and second, because they are often in institutions. In addition, long stays in institutions cause lasting harm to the emotional, social an intellectual development of children”, said Cornelius Williams, director of UNICEF’s global child protection programs.
Source: Sega newspaper