ISS NEWS Linking the network - ISS SSI

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					QUATERLY                                          JANUARY- APRIL 2012

                                 ISS NEWS : Linking the network

    In this Edition
                              New Structure at the General Secretariat
Edito                  Due to lack of capacity, the      Vietnam, our first pilot project   With PAC a network de-
                       GS had not issued any infor-      country. A mission in Haiti        velopment policy was
                       mation bulletin since April       also raised the child protec-      developed and a social
Training &       2
Casework               2011—1 year ago—With our          tion needs and the role ISS        work policy is in the
                       sincere apologies for that in-    could play there in the near       making.
                       formation blackout, we pre-       future.
Network          3     sent you today this spring
                                                                                            On the network expan-
Development            2012 edition which is the first
                                                         In the field of advocacy and       sion front, an important
                       of a series that hopefully will
                                                         policy development, we are         efforts undertaken by
                       be published 3 times a year
                                                         pressing ahead with the Im-        Branches such as Can-
International    3     and that can bring all the net-
                                                         plementation and Monitoring        ada, Germany, Hong
Family                 work members together, hop-
Mediation                                                Handbook on the UN Guide-          Kong, Switzerland, UK,
                       ing direct implication for pro-
                                                         lines for Alternative Care of      and USA are starting to
                       viding information material
                 4                                       Children and we have re-           yield results in support
Research &             will be crucial.
Publication                                              cently published a study in-       of new Correspondents
                       With a new structure in place                                        in the 4 corners of the
                                                         vestigating the grey zones of
                       and the imminent constitution                                        world is bringing tangible
                                                         inter-country adoption.
                       of our "global teams" with our                                       results and along those
Special          4
Projects               network members and exter-                                           lines we add the efforts
                       nal experts, the ISS General      On the Int’l cooperation co-       from the GS to those
                       Secretariat (GS) is embarking     operation side, we have            same      objectives      .
Food for         5     on a new approach to rise up      signed a cooperation agree-
thought                to the challenges our federa-     ment with the Hague Perma-
                                                                                            You will find out more
                       tion faces. The new modus         nent Bureau, so did we with
                                                                                            news on those efforts
                       operandi will concentrate our     “Medecins du Monde” and
                                                                                            inside this issue.
Haiti: update on 6     support by focus area such        currently pursuing final dis-
international          as training and casework          cussions with “Terre Des
adoption               and , external relations, fund    Hommes”, the International         Last but not least, the
                       raising, family mediation, net-   Federation of Red Cross and        ISS casework Manual
Network          6-8   work development, support to      Red Crescent and UNICEF            has been issued thanks
Update                 members, special projects,        (on country levels).               to the continuous efforts
                       research on specific topics                                          of our training and case-
                       such as surrogacy, etc.                                              work unit coordinator as
                                                         Our status with UN special-
                                                                                            well as all the supervi-
                                                         ized agencies such as
                       This will enable us as well to                                       sors and other col-
                                                         UNHCR, IOM, ILO has been
                       allocate quality time to de-                                         leagues involved.
                                                         updated and direct links re-
                       velop further and consolidate     established. Today the Gen-                  Jean Ayoub/SG
                       our activities by sector.         eral Secretariat participates
                                                         fully in the work oft hoses
                       Within the framework of our                                          ——————————
                       special project unit, we had a
                       successful assessment in                                             JOIN US AT BANFF !
                    Page 2                                                                  : Linking the network
                                                                                   ISS NEWSISS Lines: Linking the network

                                             Training & Casework

ISS Casework Manual new edition out!
After years of consultations and many        We all strive for excellence and we
meetings dedicated to the writing of         should not consider less than that,
the Manual, we have published the            it makes our comparative advan-
2012 version.                                tage as an international non
The ISS Manual is first intended to          governmental organisation across
                                                                                                       ISS MANUAL
Correspondents, which have been              the globe even stronger and our
requesting guidelines regarding ISS          day-to-day interaction among our-
                                                                                              INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE

procedures and methodology t                 selves well founded and better                         GENERAL SECRETARIAT

strengthen their expertise in handling       structured. Learning from our ex-
                                                                                                                          March 2012

inter-country cases.                         perience and developing good
                                             practice makes us an efficient or-
« a reference to render our work even more   ganisation to the benefit of the                   Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

                                             people we support across borders.
professional in an ever changing world »
                                          In order to better serve the entire
                                          network, a Spanish and French
It also has the pretention to be a refer-
                                          translation of the document is fore-
ence document for all our caseworkers seen.
who relentlessly work with cases on a
                                                                                     We are currently looking for re-
day-to-day basis, a reference to render                                              sources to be able to publish hard
our work even more professional in an                                                copies of the ISS Manual with
ever changing world and needs chang-                                                 translation in French and Spanish
ing with it.

Correspondents’ Training

The agenda of the ISS Correspon-
dents Training Session taking
place between 21st and 22nd May
2012 before the International
Council in Banff, Canada will be
                                                                                     Experienced ISS trainers from dif-
available soon.
                                                                                     ferent part of the world will be pre-
The seminar co-organised by the                                                      sent to facilitate this interactive
General Secretariat and ISS Can-                                                     seminar.
ada with the help of branch super-
                                                                                     This international training is a
visors is intended to all Correspon-
                                                                                     unique opportunity to remind ISS
dents but is also open to partners
                                                                                     casework standards and proce-
and potential Correspondents.
                                                                                     dures as well as share on good
                                                                                     practises with other network enti-
                                                                                                  ISS Lines      Page 3

                                        Network Development:
Cooperation opportunities & expansion
 Poland and Democratic Repub-           underway with no tangible results
 lic of Congo, two potential part-      yet.
 ners identified last year by respec-   In Georgia and Somalia interesting
 tively ISS Germany and ISS Swit-       contacts with good potential for the
 zerland have undergone a desk          network are ongoing with hopefully a
 evaluation and are well-advanced       positive result soon.
 in their accreditation procedure.

                                        Defence for Children International
 A new partnership opportunity in       Italy NGO visited the GS to follow-up
 Lebanon is under development.          contact initiated by ISS German
 Negotiations are well advanced         Branch regarding cooperation oppor-      ISS USA has identified another po-
 with a new potential Correspon-        tunities in casework activities and      tential partner in Guatemala, which
 dent.                                  other joint projects. This cooperation   is familiar with casework and aims at
 In France, and together with the       will be defined in a common plan of      becoming an ISS Correspondent.
 Swiss branch contacts with organi-     action during a meeting in Italy         after a trial period.
 sations and individuals are still      scheduled mid June.

ISS at the Inter-American Court
The Latin American Foster Care
Network (RELAF) and ISS pre-
sented together a request to be-
come “amicus curiae” - friends of
the Inter-American Court of Hu-
man Rights in the consultative                                                 HAGUE SPECIAL NEWS
opinion on child migration re-                                                 Following the cooperation agreement
quested by the governments of                                                  with the Hague Conference on Private
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and                                                International Law (HccH), ISS was in-
Uruguay, all members of MERCO-                                                 vited to attend the Seminar on: “The
SUR.                                                                           Work of the Hague Conference on Pri-
The “amicus curiae” are presenta-                                              vate International Law and its Relevance
tions that allow NGOs express                                                  for the Caribbean Region and Bermuda
their opinions                                                                 – an Interactive Training Seminar” from
                                                                               the 21 - 24 May 2012 – Hamilton Ber-

                               International Family Mediation
The project promotes international      ISS published a Briefing Docu-         The creation of a global network of
family mediation (IMF) for the          ment, advocating for IMF in Hague      mediation professionals is in process;
resolution of cross-border family       proceedings and for a more effec-      The GS gathered an international advi-
conflicts. It aims to advocate for      tive protection of children involved   sory group of experts to support its
the mediation practice and rein-        in international child abductions      actions and is actively involved in spe-
force it through the creation of a      cases under THC 1980.                  cialized trainings in IMF.
global network of professionals.
To sensitize state authorities on       An important ISS delegation cov-       Furthermore, the GS is working on
recognizing amicable modes of           ered The Hague Special Commis-         hosting in 2012 an international meet-
dispute resolution as a comple-         sion meeting in January 2012 pre-      ing for mediation and developing prac-
ment to judicial procedures and         senting ISS views and stands.          tical guides for concerned audiences
facilitate transnational cooperation,                                          and stakeholders.
                    Page 4                                                        ISS NEWS : Linking the network

                                          Research & Publication

New release and monthly review soon redesigned

While the first findings of the ISS/                                   Moreover, it thoroughly examines theoretical
IRC study « Investigating the grey                                     and technical obstacles that hinder the protec-
zones of intercountry adoption »                                       tion of children against trade in the context of
were presented during the 2010                                         ICA and goes on to formulate various recom-
Hague Special Commission, the                                          mendations in order to tackle these poor prac-
study has been recently published.                                     tices.
Based on data collected on multi-
ple cases of illicit activities related                                Concerning the ISS/IRC Monthly Review, its
to intercountry adoption (ICA)                                         design is being rethought by the Research &
around the world over the last 50                                      Publication Unit. Designers have been con-
years, the study aims to underline                                     sulted to that effect and a brand new layout
issues of concern surrounding an                                       should be available soon.
adoption procedure that are not
necessarily and directly covered by
The Hague Convention.

                                              Special Projects

 This project aims at helping chil-
                                           For example, they identified a Viet-
 dren with disabilities deprived of
                                           namese NGO as a potential part-
 their family to leave institutional
                                           ner, having the capacity to assist
 care and to grow up in a family
                                           in training in orphanages sched-
 setting. In this framework, the Spe-
                                           uled for the end of this year.
 cial Projects Unit is drafting a prac-
 tical handbook which will explain         The results and observations gath-
 the global methodology and pro-           ered from the field will allow the
 vide tools to develop a procedure         Unit to enhance the method. Obvi-
 to design family life projects re-        ously, the aim is to replicate out
 garding the child’s need.                 their materials and to develop a
 To test and improve this method,          global method that interested
 they will work with four pilot coun-      countries can then adapt to their
 tries, worldwide. The first pilot         context.
 country is Vietnam, where the Unit
 just completed their first assess-
 ment. This mission allowed them            « The Unit aims to work in close
                                            collaboration with competent              A Vietnamese orphanage visited
 to meet Vietnamese authorities                                                                by the team
                                            authorities and local actors »
 and relevant professionals as well
 as visit orphanages, etc. The Unit
 aims to work in close collaboration
 with competent authorities and
 local actors.
                                                                                              ISS Lines       Page 5

                                         Food for thought

Children’s rights born to surrogate mothers and the statehood of surrogate mothers themselves raise loads of
interrogations regarding the phenomena itself; the possible confusion with adoption across the world and the
role social services professionals could perform in surrogacy cases.

While surrogacy lacks an international legal framework, this practice is completely forbidden in some coun-
tries, whereas in some other it is not only legal but it is becoming a booming business where several well es-
tablished entities recruit mothers and adopting parents and match them together. This international legal
loophole and the variety of national legislations lead to inextricable situations detrimental to children’s rights.

Is it an unethical phenomenon or the expected consequence of high demand and low offer in adoption?
What measures and policies should govern surrogacy and ensure protection of children’s rights born to surro-
gate mothers? What role can ISS and its professionals play into that sector?

Many ISS Branches have picked up on the subject and showed interest and bringing the reflexion forward,
the GS had several reflexions on the subject in 2011 and classified it as an issue to actively pursue this year
and has embarked on a study in that direction; a circular was sent to interested Branches in that subject and
through our collective efforts and thoughts we can soon start answering some of those interrogations.
                   Page 6                                                              ISS NEWS : Linking the network

                        Haïti: Update on international adoption
More than two years after the dev-       The absence of common ap-               While discussions are still going on, the GS
astating earthquake in Haiti, a lot      proach from the receiving coun-         remain confident in its capacity to set up a
remains to be done in the very           tries certainly does not help, and      project that meets some of the dire needs,
specific field of child protection and   certainly gives contradictory mes-      and to position itself as reliable child rights
intercountry adoption. If some           sages to the Haitian authorities.       defender agency.
positive signs are sent from the
local authorities in charge (the         Over the last weeks, the GS has
clear commitment of president            drawn a concept note and intensi-
Martelli to forbid independent           fied contacts with potential part-
adoption, strict evaluation and,         ners: we are considering multilat-
when necessary, closure of               eral alliance possibilities that will
crèches, etc.), the pressure re-         ultimately lead to a firm proposal
mains tangible to restart intercoun-     to Haitian Central authorities on
try adoptions and this despite the       the best way forward.
fact that basic guarantees are still
not in place.
                                                                                           Photo by Nora Lis, RELAF

                                               Network update
What’s new in...
ISS Australia will shortly be              an intercountry element to it. Ac-             ceived additional funding from the
launching not one but two new ser-         creditation under the Australian               Telematics Trust to turn the project
vices: a Hague Convention Legal            family law system of its staff will            materials into an online course in
Assistance Service and an Interna-         allow ISS Australia to provide for-            the understanding and application
tional Family Mediation Service.           mal mediation services and to sign             of child rights, particularly in a
The Legal Assistance Service is            the certificates required by the               workplace setting. Though princi-
the result of new funding from the         Family Court showing mediation                 pally aimed at an Australian audi-
Australian Central Authority under         was pursued by the parties. The                ence, ISS Australia will be pleased
the 1980 Hague Convention, the             service will operate on a fee-for-             to share its training materials with
Commonwealth Attorney-General's            service model, in the absence of               the ISS network when ready.
Department (effectively Depart-            government funding.
ment of Justice). It will provide as-      ISS Australia also recently com-
                                                                                          ISS Canada President Mr. Cham-
sistance to clients across Australia       pleted a research project entitled
                                                                                          ney is hard at work coordinating the
in preparing and lodging an appli-         "In the Best Interests of the Child",
                                                                                          ongoing and final touches required
cation for return or access under          funded by the Ian Potter Founda-
                                                                                          to make the 2012 International
the Convention. Clients of the ser-        tion. The project resulted in a sub-
                                                                                          Council meeting a huge success.
vice may choose to access ISS              stantial report entitled "From Princi-
                                                                                          As you may know, there is a full
Australia's existing IPCA counsel-         ples to Practice - Understanding
                                                                                          week (May 21st to May 25th, 2012)
ling and support service, but this is      and Applying a Child Rights
                                                                                          of meetings and training planned in
not mandatory.                             Framework", accompanied by a set
                                                                                          Banff (Alberta, Canada) that will
The Branch’s other new service will        of training materials developed by
                                                                                          conclude with a 2 day open Confer-
provide international family media-        the report's author, lawyer Cath-
                                                                                          ence with unique and engaging
tion services to clients across Aus-       erine Caruana, and a training con-
                                                                                          topics presented by professionals
tralia, where a family dispute has         sultant. ISS Australia has now re-
                                                                                          from around the world.
                                                                                                        ISS Lines        Page 7

                                               Japan experienced disastrous             Care and Protection Support, Child,
                                               earthquake and tsunami in March          Youth and Family, Ministry of So-
                                               11, 2011. Their aftermath and fol-       cial Development already knows
                                               lowing the problem of radiation con-     the ISS as she attended the Asia-
                                               tamination have affected many ac-        Pacific Regional meeting in Hong
                                               tivities of Japan and ISS Japan’s        Kong in 2006.
                                               activity was no exception. Despite
                                               many hardships, ISS Japan keeps          ISS Philippines has embarked
                                               on working for the issues of inter-      since the beginning of this year on
                                               country adoption, abduction of chil-     intensifying their fund-raising activi-
                                               dren due to the breakdown of inter-      ties. The Branch will welcome a
ISS Canada is urging all ISS delegates to      national marriage, stateless-child,      German social worker for a two
REGISTER and BOOK accomodation, meals          refugees and asylum-seekers. ISS         months internship programme.
                                               Japan received more than 50 in-
required and ground transportation from Cal-
                                               quiries about possible adoption of       ISS Portugal (APASSI) has a new
gary Airport to Banff. This is VERY IMPOR-
                                               tsunami orphans for a month right        Governing Board led by their new
TANT for our ISS Canada contract with the
                                               after the earthquake. According to       President Mrs Maria de Lourdes
Banff Centre.                                  the statistics issued by the Ministry    Baptista Quaresm since February
                                               of Health, Labor and Welfare in          2012. The new governance is com-
Furthermore, ISS Canada is very                March 2012, more than 1’200 chil-        posed of three different bodies.The
happy to have settled into its new             dren lost one or two parents. In         President of ISS Portugal will be
office and is enjoying the new work            Japan, local relative adoption is the    present in Banff—Welcome Maria !
space. Anne-Josée Marion, part-time            first priority for those children, so
staff, and Sylvie J. Lapointe, Director        there was no immediate need for          ISS South Africa noted that
of Services, have also welcomed vol-           inter-country adoption. ISS Japan        throughout Southern Africa, thou-
unteers in the office. Adriana is as-          would like to express deep appre-        sands of children migrate through
sisting the staff with Spanish cases           ciation for encouraging messages         irregular channels every year. Chil-
and general help and Lori is ISS Can-          from other members of ISS.               dren often leave their homes as a
ada's book keeper.                             Recently, the Japanese govern-           survival strategy after the death of
                                               ment has moved forward to the rati-      a parent/caregiver or as a result of
ISS Germany is the first ISS mem-              fication of the 1980 Hague Abduc-        poverty, vulnerability or political
ber to get the Status of Central Con-          tion Convention. It expects to be        instability and conflict, or to seek
tact Point for International Family            ratified during 2012. In this respect,   asylum. Children migrate alone or
Mediation for the Hague Conference             ISS Japan highly evaluate the re-        with a caregiver in search of a bet-
on Private International Law. We               cent ISS Cooperation agreement           ter life.
congratulate them for their hard work          with the Hague Conference on Pri-        The South African Children’s Act,
and this inspiring achievement for the         vate international Law and would         38 of 2005 defines a child as any
whole network!                                 like to ask continued support for        person under the age of 18, there-              Japan’s ratification of 1993 Hague       fore all foreign children (whether
act=publications.details&pid=5360&dtid=        convention on Inter-country adop-        documented or not) who are re-
52                                             tion.                                    ported to be in need of care and
                                               ISS New Zealand: The Ministry of         protection need to be treated and
                                               Social Development, (MSD) Child,         assisted like South African children.
                                               Youth and Family National Office,        As a response Provincial Action
ISS Israel would like to introduce to
                                               informed the GS that Mrs Zoe Grif-       Plans were developed in Limpopo
the ISS network the new director of
                                               fiths will be the next director of ISS   and Gauteng as to how the situa-
their Ministry's Department of Interna-
                                               New Zealand Affiliated Bureau.           tion of unaccompanied minors will
tional Relations, Mrs. Renee
                                               Ms Griffiths who has been recently       be addressed in the prov-
Techelet, who follows Avraham
                                               appointed as the General Manager,        inces. Steering committees were
                   Page 8                                                                 ISS : Linking the network
                                                                                     ISS NEWS Lines: Linking the network

                                             Network update
established involving all government       also to track the increasing number
and NGO actors, to monitor the im-         of questions received and subse-             Check ISS
plementation and progress of the pro-      quent responses to these questions.          USA Annual
ject plans. The ISS South Africa Affili-   This data will be instrumental in            Report
ated Bureau is heavily involved in this    helping ISS USA showcase their
process as well producing a national       work and its impact when talking to
Guideline for Separated and Unac-          ISS partners, possible funders, and
companied Foreign Children.                other key stakeholders. The Arthur
                                           C. Helton Institute staff will also be
In 2011, ISS Switzerland has sup-          using the information captured in this
ported more than 4’000 children and        database to help inform the articles
                                           they are writing, advocate more ef-          The ISS UK Branch (CFAB) has
families while handling 1’198 cases of
                                                                                        launched a brand new, user
children and families.                     fectively for enhanced protection of
                                                                                        friendly website – please visit it at
Thanks to the combined efforts of the      children and families in cross border
                                           situations and to share outcomes   
Branch and their partners, 500 chil-
dren were taken into care by the           about how ISS USA, and ISS around            The Branch hosted a very success-
members of the West Africa Network         the globe, is improving the lives of         ful International Child Protection
last year. Bringing the total number of    children and families.                       fundraising dinner in February at
young people supported through this        ISS USA engaged in effective case            the Swiss Ambassador’s Resi-
programme to 1’800 since 2006. In          management through the organisa-             dence raising over £100,000.
addition, many families also benefited     tion of monthly calls with one of their      CFAB produced and premiered its
from support to improve their income.      key partners in Mexico to share              first major fundraising DVD avail-
                                           cases updates, problem-solve com-            able under
Coming soon the                            plex case situations, and discuss            fundraising/
2011 ISS Swit-                             lessons learned. These fruitful dis-
zerland Annual                                                                          The Branch was featured in a BBC
                                           cussions have led to timely resolu-
Report!                                                                                 News Night documentary discuss-
                                           tion of cases and increased under-
                                                                                        ing the issue of private fostering of
                                           standing of country specific social
                                                                                        overseas children, following the
                                           service processes. Based on the
                                                                                        verdict of a high profile murder
                                           positive results of these Skype con-
                                                                                        case here in the UK.
                                           ference calls, ISS USA has initiated
                                           collaboration with ISS UK to share           ISS UK secured major funding
                                           resources, ask questions, and build          from Comic Relief to set up a vir-
ISS USA has been busy this year            relationships between ISS staff, re-         tual child trafficking operational
finding simple but impactful ways to       sulting in more efficient case man-          group over the 2012 London Olym-
utilize technology to be more effective    agement requests.                            pics to ensure the safeguarding of
and ensure the best outcomes for
                                                                                        these children as numbers are set
children and families. Here are three      It should be noted that the use of
                                                                                        to increase over the Games.
on-going projects…                         Webinar Teleconferencing was intro-
A web-based Intercountry Case Man-         duced to hold PAC meetings.
agement Database was created in
order to recognise the need to both
document the important work that ISS
intercountry case workers perform but
                                                              ISS Lines   Page 9

 The International Social Service (ISS) is a not-for-profit interna-
tional organisation represented by a network of national bodies
which supports children, families and individuals facing social
and legal difficulties across borders. ISS is a recognised organi-
sation on issues related to child protection and welfare, such as
 adoption, neglected and abandoned children, unaccompanied
  minors, international family conflicts, through its network of
  partners in more than 100 countries active in casework, trai-
       ning, information and awareness raising projects.

               International Social Service (ISS-SSI)
                      General Secreterariat
                 32 Quai du Seujet, 1201 Geneva

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