When the State Doesn’t Care. A Guide to Accessing Justice for Violations of Children’s Rights in Care Institutions in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus

23.03.2017 / 13:09 / News

When the State Doesn’t Care is an advocacy guide brought to you by Child Rights International Network – CRIN, with contributions from ACTEDO, addressing the issue of access to justice of children facing abuse and neglect in care institutions in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus. The guide aims to provide children’s rights advocates information on the legal tools to seek justice and compensations for the violations suffered by children in closed institutions, drawing on success stories and good practices from other countries.


“The right to access justice for children in general has long been neglected and ignored. It is much more challenging for children to access justice when their rights are violated as a result of their placement in an institution because their guardian – the State – is the perpetrator of the crime. Children’s voices are unheard, they do not know who to trust, have no means of accessing help from the outside world and many have disabilities, making communication even more challenging. […]

This research offers a new approach for campaigners seeking to secure justice for children who are in care and for those who have left, but never got justice for violations they suffered. This guide sheds light on what has been done in other parts of the world to achieve redress for institutional abuse and looks into different avenues to challenge violations and secure lasting improvements for children in care. This material will be useful not only to children’s rights advocates, but also to national human rights institutions, pro bono lawyers, journalists, donors and others. It provides ideas for action and seeks to give hope to survivors of institutional abuse and to children who are still in care today.

I hope this is the beginning of a very much needed change to make access to justice for all children, including vulnerable ones, a matter of priority.”

Ms. Velina Todorova, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Read the full report here.

CRIN Advocacy guide