Country Profile: Paraguay
Total Population: 7.13 million
Total Children under the age of 18: 2.5 million
The situation of children in Paraguay
Alternative care in Paraguay: There are various forms of alternative care in Paraguay: institutional care (larger residential facilities), residential (small-group residential facilities), and foster care (qualified volunteer families caring for children under a court order of protection). More than 90% of children removed from parental care live in institutions, and only an average of 5% live in qualified foster families while awaiting a court's decision on where they will live. There are almost 60 institutional and residential children's homes in Paraguay, while only 3 foster care programs operate. The average time a child spends living in an institutional or residential facility is 4 years and 4 months, alarmingly exceeding the transience of the temporary measure of protection. In most cases, these children have lost ties with their families and communities of origin, and the relationship is less frequent the longer they stay in the children's home. All of these children are waiting for their case to be resolved to live within a safe and loving family.
- More than 150,000 children in Paraguay are orphans.
- Nearly 1,500 children and adolescents in Paraguay live years in institutions, removed from their families by the judicial authority. Thousands more live facing a high risk of abuse or neglect within their family and being removed from their homes because of these factors.
- In Paraguay, 15% of people live on less than one euro a day. Due to this, it is difficult for families to raise children in good living conditions.
- 15% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 work to help their families survive.
- 23.5% of the population aged 5-17 were involved in child labor
- 10% of children do not have access to the education system.
- 6 out of every 10 Paraguayan children and adolescents (61%) suffer physical or psychological violence.
- 18% of people married before the age of 18.
- Paraguay is among the countries with the highest incidence of children without birth certificates: 24% of all children and 35% of indigenous children under one are not registered.
- Young girls and boys are often kidnapped and exploited for sexual, commercial, or domestic service reasons.
Paraguay Protects Families (PPF)
The Paraguay Protects Families (PPF) is a national movement driven by organizations, children's homes, churches, and individuals are working to bridge the gap between the situation of children in Paraguay and the current framework of laws and policies. PPF focuses specifically on children at risk of being removed from parental care and in alternative care- including those awaiting a permanent adoptive family. Additionally, they work towards mobilizing and equipping the national church towards family-based care models. Within this role, PPF is working alongside the Paraguayan Government in learning and applying best practices and seeking to improve the development and application of laws and policies to protect children within safe and loving families. Much of the approach of PPF is aimed at the most vulnerable children who do not live in families, promoting foster care and the adoption of children in safe and caring families within supportive communities of faith.
Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in Paraguay
"Source: UNICEF, Humanium, SOS Children's Villages International".