After 7 years of dedicated and passionate work, Opening Doors can look back at many achievements. Many campaign countries, such as Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, are increasingly prioritising child protection and deinstitutionalisation. It is particularly encouraging to observe the number of children living in family-based foster care slowly exceeding the number of children living in institutions.
But the work is not over. Much more needs to be done to ensure that no child grows up in an institution, to prevent separation of children from their families for reasons of poverty, disability or other discriminatory practices, and to build strong child protection systems to ensure children are not harmed.
“The Opening Doors campaign showed what can be achieved when we join efforts. But let’s not forget that many children continue to live in harmful institutions and are at risk of being separated from their families. As the new EU leadership settles in their roles, we all need to step up our efforts to ensure families can stay together and that all children receive the individualised care they need and deserve.” – Michela Costa, Head of Global Advocacy, Hope and Homes for Children.
While the campaign is ending, the work continues. As civil society actors engaged in the protection and promotion of children’s rights, we will continue to advocate for comprehensive reforms of child protection systems and monitor the EU fund support.