Hard times force Indonesians to give up children
Financial difficulties are pushing more Indonesian families to give up their children to childcare institutions, a new report says.
The report released by charity Save the Children along with Unicef and the Indonesian government said up to half a million children are in care institutions across the country, but only 6% are orphans.
“It was clear from the research that the great majority of these children were neither parentless nor were they abandoned by their families,” the report said.
“Instead they were placed in the institutions by their own families primarily as a result of their economic situation and mostly in order to secure their education.”
The survey, based on research by the Indonesian social department along with Unicef and Save the Children across six provinces in 2007, found health facilities were basic while water and sanitation were of particular concern in a majority of the institutions.
It said a majority of the childcare institutions were set up by private organisations, particularly faith-based groups in the country.
“Children have the right to know and grow up within their families and they also have the right to education. They and their families should not be asked to choose between these two fundamental rights,” Stephen Morrow, Save the Children’s country director, said in a statement.
Many in Indonesia, a country of 226-million people, live on about $2 a day and are saddled with the pressure of rising food and fuel prices. - Reuters 2008