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5th International Policy Conference

Intercountry Adoption : Alternatives and Controversies

May 29 - 30 , 2012

United Nations Conference Centre Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

Click here if you can's see the list of presentations below

Rationale for the theme of the Fifth IPC

It is estimated that there are over 53 million orphaned children in Africa. Africa has for generations relied on informal mechanisms such as communal life and the extended family system for support and survival of those in need, especially children. However, there is now an increasing disintegration of these two systems, as a result many children are up for adoption across the continent.

Africa is the only continent where intercountry adoption is on the increase, while adoptions from all other continents have decreased in recent years. Yet only 12 African countries have ratified the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. There is a serious and growing concern among governments, human and child rights advocates that intercountry adoption poses serious risks and challenges. Much as some children benefit from the system, experiences from some countries suggest that intercountry adoption is marred with serious problems and challenges.

The Fifth IPC will therefore bring together experts and policy makers to look into the various issues and the implications of intercountry adoption in Africa. The conference will look at both international experiences and African realities to analyse what is in the best interests of children in need of alternative care. It is also expected to adopt Pan-African Guidelines on intercountry adoption.

Objectives and Themes

The main objectives of the conference are:

  • To provide a platform for sharing information and experiences on intercountry adoption.
  • To promote action on intercountry adoption, consistent with the best interests of the child.
  • To adopt a Pan-African framework and guidelines on intercounty adoption.

Conference Themes

Different topics under the following themes will be discussed at the Conference;

  • Alternative options in Africa to intercountry adoption
  • The legal and policy framework for intercountry adoption
  • Good practices of intercountry adoption in Africa
  • Trends and perspectives in intercountry adoption
  • Towards a pan-African framework on intercountry adoption

Conference Outputs

The conference will be informed by a rich and varied body of studies specifically prepared for the conference. This will include the following:

Selected Country Reports

  • An Africa-wide Report on intercountry adoption
  • A video documentary on intercountry adoption

The specific outputs of the conference will include:

  • A Conference Report
  • Pan-African Guidelines on Intercountry Adoption, which can be used as a tool kit by experts, practitioners and individuals.
  • A Communique by conference participants on intercountry adoption.
  • A Publication on Intercountry Adoption containing selected papers presented at the conference to address the information gap on the continent.

Documentary

An investigative documentary on intercountry adoption highlighting different aspects of the debate from the point of view of the African Child.

Visit Website

The Larissa Award 2012

The African Child Policy Forum presented the 2012 Larissa Award to the ISIBINDI Initiative in recognition of its exceptional work in providing a quality alternative care in Africa. This year, the Larissa Award was dedicated to “Children in Need of Alternative Care in Africa”. Ms Najat Maalla M'JID, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography presented the Award to the winner in the presence of Ministers dealing with children’s affairs from Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Malawi and Uganda ...

 

WINNERS PROFILEPRESS RELEASE [ EN ] [ FR ]

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Resource Persons

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Honourable Mrs. Anita Kalinde Honourable Mrs. Anita Kalinde Honourable Mrs. Anita Kalinde is the Minister of Gender, Children and Community Development and a Member of the Malawi Parliament for Thyolo North Constituency, of which she is also a Deputy Leader of the House. In addition, Honourable Kalinde is the Director of Political Affairs in Malawi’s ruling People’s Party and her political career has seen her serve as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus; Member of the SADC Parliamentary Forum;... Read more
H.E. President Joyce Banda H.E. President Joyce Banda H.E. President Joyce Banda is the President of the Republic of Malawi. President Banda began her work in the civil society working with grassroots women. In 1989, she founded the National Association of Business Women (NABW), a nationwide project that serves to date over 50,000 women with economic empowerment activities. In 1991 she co-founded with 7 women the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE) in Ghana. Read more
H.E. Mme Geneviève Inagosi H.E. Mme Geneviève Inagosi H.E. Mme Geneviève Inagosi is the Minister of Gender, Family and Child of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She was elected as a Member of Parliament at the National Assembly in February 2012 and was recently appointed as Minister in the Government of the DRC.   Read more
H.E. Ms Zenebu Tadesse Woldetsadik H.E. Ms Zenebu Tadesse Woldetsadik H.E. Ms Zenebu Tadesse Woldetsadik is the Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MoWCYA) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) and a member of Parliament.H.E. Ms Zenebu has also served as State Minister at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) from 2005 to 2010. Prior to this, she served as Head of the Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs in the Amhara National Regional State (ANRS) from 2001 to 2005. Read more
Dr Salim Ahmed Salim Dr Salim Ahmed Salim Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, who concluded his term of office as Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 17 September 2001 after serving an unprecedented three terms covering a period of twelve years, is now involved in several activities. Read more
Mrs. Akila Belembaogo Mrs. Akila Belembaogo Mrs. Akila Belembaogo is the Head of the UNICEF Liaison Office and Representative to the African Union and UN Economic Commission for Africa based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read more
Dr Assefa Bequele Dr Assefa Bequele Dr. Assefa Bequele is the Founder and Former Executive Director of The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF). He currently serves as the Distinguished Fellow of ACPF. He has long years of service in the United Nations system International Labour Organisation Geneva, Asia and Africa. Read more
Mr Hervé Boéchat Mr Hervé Boéchat Mr. Hervé Boéchat is a Swiss lawyer currently working as Co-ordinator of the International Reference Centre for the Rights of Children Deprived of their Family (ISS/IRC).He obtained his Law degree from Neuchâtel University in 1995 and became a Solicitor in 1998. Read more
Mr Nigel Cantwell Mr Nigel Cantwell Mr. Nigel Cantwell is an international consultant on child protection, based in Geneva. He holds an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Diploma in Applied Social Studies from Nottingham University, UK. Read more
Prof Jaap E. Doek Prof Jaap E. Doek Professor Jaap E. Doek is Emeritus Professor of Law (Family and Juvenile Law) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (since July 2004). Currently he is a Deputy Justice in the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam and he was a Juvenile Court Judge in the District Court of Alkmaar and the Hague (1978-1985). Read more
Ambassadeur Thierry Frayssé Ambassadeur Thierry Frayssé Ambassadeur Thierry Frayssé is the Ambassador in charge of Intercountry Adoption at the French Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, in Paris. A career diplomat, he has served in different capacities for the past 25 years. Read more
Mrs Gertrude Hiwa Mrs Gertrude Hiwa Mrs. Gertrude Hiwa was appointed the third Law Commissioner of Malawi on 24 June, 2008. Her impeccable legal career spans over 16 years of service in the public sector in various capacities.Mrs. Hiwa started her career as a State Advocate at the Ministry of Justice in 1992. Read more
Amb. Susan S. Jacobs Amb. Susan S. Jacobs Secretary Clinton designated Ambassador Susan S. Jacobs as Special Advisor to the Office of Children’s Issues on July 1, 2010.  Ambassador Jacobs is the first person to fill this new foreign policy position to address intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction. Read more
Mr Gauthier Luyela Mr Gauthier Luyela Mr Gauthier Luyela is the Director of Child Protection Services in the Ministry of Gender, Family and Children of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read more
Mr. Ahmed Hussein Mr. Ahmed Hussein Mr. Ahmed Hussein is the Director of Children’s Services, Secretary of the National Council for Children’s Services and Secretary to the National Adoption Committee (Central Authority) of Kenya. Mr. Hussein joined the Department of Children Services in 1990 from the Ministry of Education where he was a lecturer in Early Childhood at the Teachers Training Institute. Mr. Hussein has served as Chief Children’s Officer, Assistant Director of Probati... Read more
Dr Urban Johnson Dr Urban Johnson Dr Urban Jonsson is the Executive Director of The Owls, an international consultancy company specialized in Human Rights and Development based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.Dr Jonsson is a leading authority on the Human Rights-Based Approach to Programming (HRBAP). Read more
Mr Ben Kioko Mr Ben Kioko Mr Ben Kioko is the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission (AUC). He is an International Law Expert with a specialisation in human rights. As Chief Legal Adviser of the AUC, he has been instrumental in the development of, and has been fully involved in the transformation of the OAU to the AU and the conceptualisation, drafting and negotiation of the legal instruments adopted under the aegis of the OAU/AU in the last twelve years. Read more
Mrs. Agnès Kaboré Ouattara Mrs. Agnès Kaboré Ouattara Mrs. Agnès Kaboré is the current Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). Mrs. Kaboré is a socio-economist who has held a number of senior positions relating to children’s issues within the Burkina Faso Civil Service. Read more
Amb. Dr. Olawale Maiyegun Amb. Dr. Olawale Maiyegun Ambassador Dr. Olawale Maiyegun is the Director of the Social Affairs Department at the African Union. He is a Public Policy specialist with expertise in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Narcotic Drugs and Terrorism, as well as Corruption and Governance-related issues. Read more
Amb. Moushira Mahmoud Khattab, PhD Amb. Moushira Mahmoud Khattab, PhD Ambassador Moushira Mahmoud Khattab is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for scholars (Washington DC). She is an Egyptian career diplomat turned into human rights activist advocating for the rights of children and women. Read more
Mr David Mugawe Mr David Mugawe Mr. David Mugawe is currently the Executive Director of The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF). He has over 20 years experience of programme and project management in international development in Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and the United Kingdom. Read more
Dr. Najat M’jid Maalla Dr. Najat M’jid Maalla Dr. Najat M’jid Maalla is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. She is a medical doctor in pediatrics, who has been involved for the past two decades in the protection of vulnerable children. Read more
H.E. Mrs Hajia Zainab Maina H.E. Mrs Hajia Zainab Maina H.E. Mrs Hajia Zainab Maina is the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to her ministerial appointment in July 2011, H.E. Mrs Maina served on the Boards of the National Council for Nomadic Education, Garki Microfinance Bank, Police Community Relations Committee FCT Command, Vision 2010 Committee, National Programme on Immunization, Adamawa State Primary Schools Board and Family Economic Advanc... Read more
Mr George Nyakora Mr George Nyakora Mr. Nyakora is a Kenyan citizen who has worked for the past 28 years in senior management posts with international and local NGOs. His experience spans many countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia, in the areas of training; human resource and organisational development; strategic planning; long term and rights-based development planning; managing child-focused programmes; Read more
Dr Mary Orjioke Dr Mary Orjioke Dr Mary Orjioke is the Assistant Director of the Child Development and Participation Department at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She was the Chief Administration Officer at the Budget Office of the Federation. Prior to this, Dr Orjioke was the Senior Assistant Registrar at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology. She was a Senior Education Officer at the Enugu State Education... Read more
H.E. Mrs. Janet Museveni H.E. Mrs. Janet Museveni H.E. Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni is the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda and a Minister in Uganda's Cabinet. She is also the elected Member of Parliament representing "Ruhaama County", Ntungamo District. H.E. Mrs. Museveni is patron to many social service initiatives that work towards reducing the suffering of disadvantaged people in Uganda, especially women and children. Read more
Dr Benyam Dawit Mezmur Dr Benyam Dawit Mezmur Dr Benyam Dawit Mezmur is the Second Vice Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). He is currently a Research Fellow based at the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape (UWC) in Cape Town, South Africa. Read more
H.E. Advocate. Bience Philomina Gawanas H.E. Advocate. Bience Philomina Gawanas H.E. Advocate. Bience Philomina Gawanas is the African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs. Since her return from 12 years of exile in 1989, Advocate Gawanas has served in different capacities in Namibia including being a member of the Public Service Commission and the Ombudswoman. Read more
Dr Peter Selman Dr Peter Selman Peter Selman is Visiting Fellow in the School of Geography, Politics & Sociology at the Newcastle University, UK. His main areas of research interest are child adoption, teenage pregnancy and demographic change & public policy. Read more
Ms Yayesh Tesfahuney Kiflay Ms Yayesh Tesfahuney Kiflay Ms Yayesh Tesfahuney Kiflay is the Director of the Child Rights Promotion and Protection Directorate at the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) since 2009.She has previously served as the Head of the Women’s Affairs Department at the Ministry of Works and Urban Development.  Read more
Dr Mary Shawa Dr Mary Shawa Dr Mary Shawa is the Principal Secretary for Gender, Children and Community Development of the Republic of Malawi. Prior to this appointment, she was the Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDs in the Office of the President. She is a practicing Nutritionist and Dietitian.   Read more
Mr. Joel D. van Andel Mr. Joel D. van Andel The Ministry of Security and Justice designated Joel D. van Andel as Advisor for International Relations to the Department of Youth Policy on September 2008. Mr. Van Andel is the first person to fill this position to address intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.In his work, Mr. Van Andel actively engages with foreign government officials and European institutions to protect the welfare and interests of children. Read more
Prof Julia Sloth‐Nielsen Prof Julia Sloth‐Nielsen Professor Julia Sloth‐Nielsen is Senior Professor and currently Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. Over the last 20 years, she managed the Children's Rights Project of the Community Law Centre at the UWC. Read more
Dr Hans van Loon Dr Hans van Loon Dr van Loon studied at the Universities of Utrecht and Leiden, and at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. He joined the Secretariat of the Hague Conference on Private International Law in 1978 and has served as its Secretary General since 30 June 1996. Read more

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