SOS Children’s Village plays an important role in standing for the rights of the children without parental care and their protection. We regularly gather data and analyse the situation of the children from our target group. We use this data to advocate for amendments of the legislation, policies and practice aiming to improve the conditions and life of these children.  We exercise the principles of the protection of the rights of the child on SOS Children’s Villages.

  1. The best interests of the child are given a priority;
  2. Involvement of the child (incl. considering with the positions and opinions of the child);
  3. Non-discrimination;
  4. Equality.

The Estonian SOS Children’s Villages Association started active work with the children’s rights in 2008.

First of all we target setting and mobilising the efficient network/roundtable of the organisations and experts working with the problems of the alternative care and rights of the children without parental care or risk of losing them. We are well aware that only acting in partnership we can achieve changes and as a result improve life of our children.

For SOS Advocacy means first of all, activities that aim to improve children’s in our target group, amend legislation and practices that fail to guarantee respect to the rights of the children in alternative care and their protection or do it insufficiently. We pay attention to the authorities on various levels to the fact, that they bear the responsibility for the quality implementation of decisions taken. We request that service providers do it in line with the requirements of the laws and international norms.

Together with other providers of the substitute care, we do support the promotion of family-based or family lake care model. We are convinced that the best interests of a child should be the key accent in any activities or services provided to this child. We are sure that the most suitable environment for a child is his or her biological family. Yet, it is not always possible and in the best interest of the child to stay with the biological parents or closest relatives. In this case the child should be offered to stay in such a substitute home, where the family-like model is implemented. In such families the conditions of life are similar to the ones of a real family. “Mother or parents” are ahead of such a family, they permanently reside together with their children and take care of them. We have all the rights to say that this system is efficient on practice and therefore we lobby for its implementation.

In our advocacy work we use knowledge we have received through many years of practice and hard work. We also ground our advocacy activities on the quality research and analysis of the situation of children from our target group. We try to involve young people  who aged in care in our activities, as they are the experts of how the system is working on practice, having experienced it.

Child Protection Policy

Starting from 2013 we are implementing the SOS Child Protection Policy in all our villages, youth facilities and projects. We aim to raise awareness about different kinds of violence among children, their families and friends; we also aim to prevent such cases and take the responsibility to act in case of any suspect of violence or neglect towards our children.