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  • German Association for Public and Private Welfare

    The German Association for Public and Private Welfare (Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge e.V.) is the joint forum of municipalities and non-statutory social welfare organisations and their social services in Germany, private commercial enterprises, the Länder (federal states) and academia in all fields of social work, social policy and social law. ...mehr

Foto: Frau Markowski, Herr Chalupka und Herr Seebeck

ICSW Expert meeting “Poverty in families – approaches for social mobility in Germany, Austria and Switzerland”, November 16-17, 2017



In November 2017 ca. 20 experts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland from research institutions, welfare organisations and ministries gathered in Berlin to compare their views on families in poverty and social mobility. The seminar was a joint event of ICSW Europe and it members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Although the facts are well-known, no comprehensive success of initiatives to avoid or reduce poverty in families has been observed to date. Ways out of poverty - social mobility is primarily understood as educational mobility in the different phases of life of the family members. In addition to measures for overcoming barriers to education, the experts’ discussions focussed on expanding prevention offers, “docked” with regular establishments such as childcare services, (primary) schools or public healthcare offers. Last but not least, improving the income situation of families plays a role, of course. That means integration of women into employment or a higher work intensity amongst women are nessecary to forge paths out of poverty for families and their children.

Report ICSW Expert meeting [PDF, 850 KB]

For more information see: http://www.icsw.org/index.php/regions/europe/ and https://www.deutscher-verein.de/en/

Bild vom Treffen in Athen

ISS PAC meets in Athens



From 16th to 18th May Ursula Rölke, the director of the German member of ISS, based in Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge (German Association) participated in this years' Meeting of ISS directors.

The ISS Professional Advisory Committee annual meeting was successfully hosted in Athens by ISS Member in Greece, a founding member in 1924.

Directors from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom, West Africa Network as well as the Secretary General and the Network development coordinator from the ISS General Secretariat discussed, over 2 and half days a full agenda of ISS issues. Among them, the participants covered current projects such as Children on the Move, Children with Disabilities, International Family Mediation.

The meeting considered reports from various bodies of the network and discussed as well general strategy, policy and advocacy matters related to network development, membership and contributions. The last (half) day of the meeting was dedicated to a side meeting of ISS European members, the contributions committee as well as the first meeting of working group on ISS regionalization.

A special reception for ISS was hosted by the mayor of Athens to express thanks and appreciation to ISS work in Greece and world-wide. After each day’s extensive discussion sessions, a social agenda gathered all participants along the warmth of Greek hospitality and good food.

Please do also visit our ISS General Secretariats Website

Bild vom Treffen in Verona

Experts meeting to discuss international reponses to surrogacy at University of Verona



The International Social Service (ISS) together with a group of experts (the Experts' Group) met from 18 to 20 May 2017 at the Department of Law, University of Verona, Italy to discuss the urgent need for national and international child focused responses to surrogacy arrangements.

This first meeting of the Experts' Group was attended by 30 experts and observers from governments, academic institutions, civil society as well as international organisations including among others the Council of Europe, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, UN Special Rapporteur sale and sexual exploitation of children and UNICEF. The Experts' Group represented various regions, including States and non-governmental organisations which have different approaches to national and international surrogacy arrangements.

The Experts' Group acknowledged the disparate national approaches to surrogacy and the concerns relating to surrogacy arrangements including, for example, the potential for exploitation of children, women and intending parents. The Experts' Group agreed in particular that the rights of all children, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth, must be protected. The Experts' Group also agreed in principle that States must prohibit the sale of children in the context of surrogacy with particular reference to the Optional Protocol on Sale of Children.

ISS and the Experts' Group agreed that there is an urgent need for comprehensive universal principles which consider surrogacy from an international and child centred approach, and grounded in international human rights laws and standards with particular reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The purpose of this meeting was therefore to review a working document proposing "Principles for better protection of children's rights in the context of surrogacy". These principles would, first and foremost, support inter-governmental and national efforts in providing a comprehensive international children's rights response to surrogacy. Significant steps are now beginning to be made in that direction.

This is the first of a number of consultations that ISS and the Experts' Group intend to convene. ISS and its core group* will continue to work in close collaboration with inter-governmental organisations, States and other relevant stakeholders, in order to secure their input on specific issues where improved clarity, information and action are most urgently needed. The German Association (Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge) in this Meeting was represented by Valerie Schatz, policy officer in the German member of ISS, one of the Departments of German Association.

ISS wishes to thank Professor Maria Caterina Baruffi and the University of Verona for hosting this first meeting of the Experts' Group. A second meeting will be convened in Zurich, Switzerland in early 2018.

For more information, please contact Mia Dambach, ISS. Mia.dambach@iss-ssi.org
or +41 789 24 09 74 * Claire Achmad, Christina Baglietto, Nigel Cantwell, Mia Dambach, Patricia Fronek, David Smolin, Katarina Trimmings and Michael Wells-Greco
Please do also visit our ISS General Secretariats Website

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