THE MAJOR SUBJECTS OF ICC’S ACTIVITIES
While the International Children’s Centre has given priority to the subject of child health since its creation, it has at the same time always given attention to the other aspects of child development, particularly the social and educational aspects, with special emphasis on underprivileged children.
Children’s health and development are conditioned by their family, the social, economic and cultural environment. Good health is recognized as an essential condition of development.
These elements are taken into account by ICC in its programmes, in particular in the poorest countries.
Three federative themes for action
In spite of the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child by over 160 countries, too many children are still deprived of their fundamental rights, in particular concerning health, education, and even of their right to live and develop themselves.
Thus, ICC has chosen to work on three main themes:
Protection of mother and child health
In the field of prevention against communicable diseases and immunization, ICC contributes to the conception and evaluation of immunization strategies in developing countries and in France where our institution is a national reference centre on childhood immunization.
Besides the nutritional state of mothers and children and their deficiency in micro-nutriments. studies and training in the field of feeding and nutrition take into account modes of access to consumption and food production.
ICC’s activities in the field of mother and child health, family planning and safe motherhood integrate the community approach to health problems. Our experience in this field enahles us to be designated by WHO as a collaborating centre for family health. ICC emphasizes the fight against child and maternal mortality, in particular by giving greater importance to safe motherhood and family planning programmes.
ICC is also increasingly active in the field of Aids prevention and contributes to the elaboration of national Aids programmes.
Health and development
Beyond the protection of child health, the Centre broadly studies social and economic conditions determining health in general.
It has developed activities in the fields of organization, management, financing and accessibility to health services, as well as in the fields of social communication, education and development. Thus, ICC participates in the evaluation of the ‘lBamako Initiative” and brings its support to the organization of primary health care. It has implemented, for instance through its Andes-Ecuador project, a methodology for integrated rural development. In its activities, ICC wishes to increase the emphasis on the role of women in development.
Children in great social difficulty
Intolerable social situations may last for long periods of time and then deteriorate in many regions of the world due to difficult political and economic conditions. Their first victims are children and adolescents.
The social problems with which children and adolescents are confronted are given increasing importance in ICC’s activities.
Its programmes focus on the situation of marginalized children in large urban centers and suburbs, on the social and economic consequences of the Hiv/Aids pandemics on children and families and on prevention and care of handicaps.
ICC is preparing to carry out activities concerning exploitation of children through work or prostitution, the problems faced by child victims of war and ethnic purification and hy those living in great poverty and exclusion.
Also, it is now starting to concern itself with the problem of risk behaviors in adolescence, such as drug addiction and delinquency.