International Advocates for Children moving to The Hague
The independent, non-governmental organisation International Advocates for Children (IAC) is moving its headquarters this year from Amsterdam to The Hague. On 26 June the IAC and the Municipality of The Hague signed the contract to facilitate the move. The IAC, established in 2001, is a rapidly growing non-profit human rights organisation for orphaned and abandoned children worldwide.
According to Director Maarten Brekelmans, “The enormous psycho-social and economic impact on our world of 150 million children who are deprived of parental care is severely underestimated”. Hague Deputy Mayor Frits Huffnagel (International Affairs) is very pleased with the move of the IAC to The Hague. “We welcome the IAC to our city,” he said. “The organisation strengthens The Hague’s status as international city of peace and justice. Its mandate also appeals to us because care for children means care for the future.”
World Conference in October
IAC has succeeded in bringing the largest world conference ever held in the area of children without parental care to The Hague. Directly following the kick-off, some 60 different nationalities registered for the four-day conference. Some 100 participating countries are expected. Speakers include the wife of the president of Georgia, Sandra Roelofs, and the chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Prof. Jacob Doek, together with a number of other prominent speakers. The conference will be held from 23 to 26 October 2006 in the Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague.
The enormous need and urgency to serve the best interests of 150 million children without parental care worldwide is stressed by the move of the IAC. According to Mr Brekelmans, an additional 16 million children are abandoned each year and within ten years the world will have a quarter of a million orphans. The human rights organisation would like to develop itself into a knowledge centre where information about projects for orphans is brought together to create global awareness on the needs of this disadvantaged population.
At the moment the organisation has ten employees but is expected to expand to 150 people in The Hague plus various representatives around the world. The IAC chose to relocate to The Hague because of its international image and the proximity of many other international organisations