To the United Nations: Stop the confusion!
For about a year already, I’m actively fighting anti-institutionalization campaigns who incorrectly use the word “orphanage” instead of “children’s home”.
I’m happy that more and more campaigns, charities, and foundations are opening their eyes, and are attempting to use it correctly.
This includes the Lumos Foundation, which I have criticized harshly through time, primarily as their spokesperson and founder Joanne Rowling has shown a massive amount of ignorance through time.
Hence I would like to thank Lumos specifically for attempting to use it more correctly, with the added comment that I do hope Rowling will notice her own ignorance.
(It has been unfair of me to criticize the Lumos Foundation because of Rowling’s ignorance.)
[Update: 1st of August 2017: Lumos has returned to the wording of Orphanage, and has returned to my list of opposed organisations.]
Anyhow, the most notable thing I got to know from every single campaign, charity, and foundation, is that they used it as it used by the United Nations this way…
The thing is, they are all correct, the United Nations is using the words surrounding orphans completely incorrectly.
(Though, as most of these organisation are active at Eastern Europe, they should have actually known the difference, as our languages do have the difference, a bit strange…)
As let’s take a moment to be aware of words like “Paternal orphan”, “Maternal orphan”, and “Double orphan”, which likely you never heard…
Which you shouldn’t have actually, as according to the dictionary the term “orphan” means exactly the same as their “double orphan”…
As an example, UNICEF states:
“UNICEF and global partners define an orphan as a child under 18 years of age who has lost one or both parents to any cause of death.”
Which actually causes quite some anger within me.
The point is, the usage of the term orphan so loosely causes there to be a lack of understanding that there are a quite huge amount of children who are the so-called “double orphan”.
According to the United Nations themselves, by combining several of their statistical shares, it would be around 20 million children who are “double orphan”.
And that is the point we get into problems.
According to the United Nations, there are about 140 million children who have been abandoned by their parents because of the loss of at least 1 parent through death.
Of those ~140 million children, ~20 million have lost both parents, which is about 14%.
Now, it’s an importance to think about what campaigns targeting orphans actually means, which is simple, million of children unfairly being targeted…
Because of organisations following the example of the United Nations, there is generally not made any difference between the “United Nations Orphan” and the “Dictionary Orphan”.
To not make it overly complicated, the simplest way of explaining is that it is discrimination…
Do I really need to remind the United Nations themselves of paragraph 1 of article 3 and article 8 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
(Ukraine’s law goes against Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the way, just to point out something I just noticed myself.)
The return to the factual meaning of orphan is important for the United Nations to do, as they are seen as the main example by many organisations.
Factually, foundlings have the right to be correctly differentiated of actual orphans according to article 8 of Convention on the Rights of the Child…
This incorrect usage of terms causes hurt, henceforth, I call the United Nations to reconsider their usage of terms, and to return to the dictionary meaning of orphan and foundling at their activities.
Thank you for reading.