The ‘Bucharest Statement’

ChildPact Panel at the Black Sea NGO Forum: Building a Regional Cooperation Mechanism for Child Protection – Exploring Options and Opportunities

BUCHAREST STATEMENT (downloadable here)

5 September 2013

We, the participants of the ChildPact panel organised at the Black Sea NGO Forum, coming from positions in government and civil society,

Recognize the following:

Children remain among the most socially and economically vulnerable groups within the wider Black Sea area. Millions among them are in situations of hunger, violence, labour, trafficking, unaccompanied living, life on the street and institutional care.

Governments and civil society have worked to build systems of care and protection for the most vulnerable children. Working with aligned stakeholders they made significant progress to build legal frameworks and policies that protect the human rights of children. Emerging laws attest to the shift from highly centralized welfare institutions (orphanages) that removed children from families, to decentralized community based models (day care, foster care, respite care) that protect children within families. In correspondence to this shift, NGOs, donors and governments have tested different ideas for community based services to help protect and care for vulnerable children. Best practices within the region are known and continue to improve. However, given the complexity of interventions needed for real child protection and welfare reform, more must be done to ensure protection of the next generation. The challenges for child protection in the region are very similar, given the similar cultural and historical background. Progressive and innovative policy and programming tools are needed to move reform efforts to the next step. Such action demands a pooling of great minds, leadership and resources.

Therefore, we declare the following:

We welcome coordinated action and steps towards strengthening regional cooperation for child protection in the wider Black Sea Region, as urged by the PABSEC Recommendation 127/2012.

Regional cooperation for child protection can manifestly change the lives of the most vulnerable children in the region. Regional cooperation provides a platform to share scare resources and talent, leverage our lessons into successes, and create a new level of political will for reform.

We welcome high level political resolve towards this outcome and we encourage stake-holders to develop the idea of building a Regional Cooperation Mechanism for Child Protection as we all have a duty to find and implement solutions that protect our children.

ChildPact Panel Participants

1. Codrin Scutaru, State Secretary, Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly, Romania
2. Vladimir Pesic, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy, Serbia
3. Davit Hakobyan, Advisor to the Minister of Labor and Social Issues of Armenia
4. Petya Dimitrova, State expert, State Agency for Child Protection, Bulgaria
5. Mamuka Machavariani, Deputy of Director, Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
6. Farid Adilov, Senior Child Specialist at State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, Azerbaijan
7. Turid Heiberg, Head of Children’s Unit, Council of Baltic Sea States
8. Mihaela Hristova, Project Manager, Partners Bulgaria Foundation
9. Andro Dadaiani, Country Director, Every Child Georgia
10. Arsen Mikayelyan, Armenia
11. Cristina Negoiescu, Project Assistant, World Vision International
12. Jocelyn Hall, Deputy Advocacy Director, World Vision International
13. Ielena Harutyunyan, Social Worker, FAR Children’s Support Center, Armenia
14. Manane Petrosyan, Children’s Support Centre, Armenia
15. Mariana Arnautu, Child Protection Specialist, World Vision Romania
16. Andy Guth, Child Protection Specialist, World Vision International
17. Mihai Sebe, Project Manager, European Institute of Romania
18. Rovshan Novruzov, Azerbaijan
19. Stefan Racovita, First Secretary, Policy Planning Directorate, Ministry of Foreign         Affairs, Romania
20. Ridiona Stana, BKTF board member, Albania
21. Irena Shtraza, Gender Alliance for Development Center, Albania
22. Zini Kore, BKTF & ChildPact President, Albania
23. Nona Tsikelashvili, Project Lead Trainer, World Vision Georgia
24. Vugar Huseynli, Azerbaijan
25. Milena Banic, Child Rights Centre, Serbia
26. Tatevik Aghabekyan, Women’s Resource Center, Armenia
27. Irina Lupu, Organising Team Black Sea NGO Forum, FOND Romania
28. Liuba Ceban, Altruism Association, Republic of Moldova
29. Diana Rusu, Romanian Association for International Development and Cooperation
30. Teodora Zafiu, UNDP Romania
31. Mara Niculescu, UNDP Romania
32. Telman Malikazadeh, Social Services Project Coordinator, World Vision Azerbaijan
33. Mariana Ianachevici, President of the Moldavian NGO Network for Child Protection and and ChildPact Steering Committee Member
34. Daniela Gheorghe, FONPC Executive Director
35. Roxana Ogrendil, FONPC Fundraising Officer
36. Simona Oproiu, Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection
37. George Bogdanov, NNC Executive Director and ChildPact Steering Committee Member
38. Dea Haxhi, Program Manager, World Vision Albania and Kosovo
39. Tijana Moraca, Program Manager, World Vision Middle East & Eastern European Office, Srbia
40. Iustina Pascari, FOND Volunteer, Romania
41. Corina Preda, FOND Volunteer, Romania
42. Grigori Grigoryants, Policy and Quality Assurance Expert, Child Protection and Education, World Vision Armenia
43. Romanos Harutyunyan, Project Coordinator, World Vision Armenia
44. Natalia Budescu, Association of Cross Border Cooperation „Lower Danube Euroregion”, Romania
45. Denys Levytskyy, Third Secretary, Ukrainian Embassy in Romania
46. Daniela Buzducea, Director of Advocacy World Vision Romania and FONPC Vice-President
47. Mirela Oprea, ChildPact Secretary General
In addition, 1150 ChildPact supporters signed  ChildPact’s petition for a Regional Cooperation Mechanism for Child Protection.