No small issue: Children and families. Universal Action Now

Advocacy Materials
Bernard van Leer Foundation
22 p.

In 2007, an estimated total of 2 million children were living with HIV - eight times more than in 1990 - while both new infections and deaths among children have grown three-fold globally since 1990. Around 90% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, where 12.1 million children are estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDS. This plenary presentation argues that children and families have been severely neglected in responses to HIV and AIDS. It makes the case that responses should be large-scale, integrated and national, characterized by social justice enabled by basic income security and by universal access to essential services such as health, education and social welfare. This report makes four recommendations: - Policies, programmes and funding must be redirected to provide support for children to and through their families; - A dramatic rethink in policies is needed to develop comprehensive and integrated family-centred services. - As the backdrop to much of the impact of the AIDS epidemic is extreme poverty, much greater attention must be given to social protection for poor families; - The use of income transfers should be expanded.

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