After having obtained special consultative status from the UN’s Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC), Apprentis d’Auteuil is presenting an initial report in Geneva on the alarming situation of children in Madagascar.
Since 2008, the UN has organised a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to examine the human rights situation in its 193 member states. This is performed by the states themselves, but the NGOs can also take part by submitting a report and recommendations to improve human rights in a particular country. For the 20th UPR (1), Apprentis d’Auteuil (which obtained special ECOSOC consultative status from the UN in June) and its partners (2) are submitting a report in Geneva on October 6 concerning children's rights in Madagascar.
Against the backdrop of the political instability experienced by the country since 2009 and the drastic budget cuts, particularly in education, Apprentis d’Auteuil and its signatory partners have noted a general impoverishment of the population and would like to draw attention to the particularly alarming situation for Madagascan children. Today, half of all Madagascans are aged under 18 (3). More than 8 millions children live below the poverty line and 50% of children suffer from stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition (4).
Despite the commitments entered into by the Madagascan state during its previous Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2010, the report shows that a majority of the children in the country are still finding it difficult to access education. In their recommendations, the signatory organisations particularly encourage the Madagascan government to "continue their efforts to increase the school enrolment rate, particularly for the most disadvantaged children" and to "provide free primary education for all". The report also draws attention to the number of street children in Madagascar, which is still very high. In the capital Antananarivo, there are estimated to be between 3000 and 4000 of them (5).
This phenomenon is directly related to the impoverishment of the population and the deteriorating social status of numerous families who have found themselves on the street. Homeless children, who today are often involved in begging, often slide into delinquency or are victims of violence. In this situation, they are also deprived of their rights to food, health, education, housing or protection. Apprentis d’Auteuil and its partners recommend "introducing a coherent and efficient child protection system", in addition to "strengthening the partnership with organisations caring for street children" or supporting the families of these children through preventive action in the hygiene, health and educational fields.
Apprentis d’Auteuil receives accreditation from the UN
Last June, Apprentis d’Auteuil obtained special consultative status from the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN). This status is granted to NGOs working in a specific field (for the foundation, support for young people and families experiencing difficulties). Consequently, Apprentis d’Auteuil is consulted by ECOSOC due to its experience out in the field and its expertise in France and abroad, for all questions concerning its area of expertise.
- (1) The session to be held from October 27 to November 7, 2014
- (2) Apprentis d'Auteuil's partners : L'Instituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA), International Volunteerism Organisation for Women, Development and Education (VIDES International), Franciscans International (FI), Le Centre Energie, Graines de Bitume, Hardi et Enda OI.
- (3) Source : Unicef, analysis of child poverty in Madagascar, 2010
- (4) Source : World bank, Madagascar : assessing the cost of the political crisis
- (5) Source : Local partners