Social orphanhood in Latvia
Institute Philosophy and Sociology, University of Latvia, Latvia
The reform processes and the developments of social policy to solve the major social problems of the socially vulnerable population, among them, children in particular, take place in Latvia during the last 20 years. Protection of children rights is declared one of the strategic priorities of the state social policy. At the same time the problem of child neglect and child abandonment in Latvia has not yet been sufficiently conceptualized. Already since 1990-ies Latvian society has clearly faced with an objective necessity of solving problems of child abandonment in connection with an increasing number of social orphans. The situation was complicated by the fact that the formation of a fundamentally new system of social policy, social support and assistance to risk children had to be developed and implemented in conditions of economic transition to market economy relations, increasing social tensions, and sharp increase in social inequality and social discrimination. Among the enourmous number of economical and social problems in the developing democratic state, the issue of child abandonment as an important social problem has been addressed rather fragmentary. The term “social orphanhood” does not appear in the social policy vocabulary of the Latvian social policy doscourse.
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