Country Profile: Belarus
Total Population: 9.3 million
Total Children under the age of 18: 1.2 million
The situation of children in Belarus
- 21,000 orphans, 7,000 can be adopted, and 14,000 are social orphans with living parents.
- 5% of children under the age of 14 are forced to work, and a high percentage are forced into marriage before they reach adulthood.
- Children who are most at risk of losing parental care are those with special needs and have been subject to abuse.
- Sexual abuse - Belarus is currently a country of origin, transit, and destination for the sex trade.
Belarus Without Orphans
The Belarus Without Orphans Movement started in 2012. Visionaries met with Belarus denominational and other key pastors and leaders and then planned a conference to launch Belarus Without Orphans. The Belarus Without Orphans team opened a Consulting Center where families and children can get assistance, consultations, psychological and legal support.
On adoption, Belarusian legislation considered national adoption a priority for children who had lost parental care access for different reasons. In 2019, nationals adopted 409 children. Over the period spanning from 2011 to 2019, that number stood at 4,692 children, including 2,460 children from orphanages and social care homes.
Furthermore, Belarus paid much attention to the prevention of violence against minors. Mediation was being actively implemented to resolve disputes through the intervention of a neutral third party. In 2019, school mediation services had been rolled out in 58 educational institutions, which allowed teenagers to learn how to overcome crises and reduce the number of conflicts occurring in schools, amongst others.
Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in Belarus
"Source: UNICEF, Humanium, SOS Children's Villages International".