• KEVIN BROWNE Professor, Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham, International House, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham, NG8 1BB, United Kingdom, +44(0)1158232210
  • VICKI JACKSON Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham, International House, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham, NG8 1BB, United Kingdom, +44(0)1158466413
  • MARIE ANAUT Professor, Université Lumière-Lyon2, ISPEF 86 rue Pasteur, 69007, Lyon, France
  • IEVA DANIUNAITE Paramos Vaikams Centras, Latviu g. 19A, LT-08113 Vilnius, Lithuania, +37052715980
  • MÁRIA HERCZOG Dr, Family Child Youth Association, Podmaniczky u. 75, Budapest H-1064, Hungary, +3612253526
  • MARIA KELLER-HAMELA Nobody’s Children Foundation, 31 Katowicka Street, 03-932 Warsaw, Poland, +48226160268
  • INGRID LETH Dr, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 2A, 1353 København K, Denmark, +4535324904
  • VLADISLAV MATEJ SOCIA, Legionárska 13, 83104 Bratislava, Slovakia, +421255645214
  • IVANKA SHALAPATOVA For Our Children Foundation, Building 13B, fl.2, Mladost 4, 1 Business Park Sofia Str., Sofia 1766, Bulgaria, +3599807058
  • DIANA TASCU Children’s High Level Group, 24-26 Sos. Nordului, 5 floor, room 16, sector 1, Bucharest, Romania, +40723701347
  • HANA ŽUROVCOVÁ Life Together Association, 30.dubna 3, Ostrava 70200, Czech Republic, +420777760191


Child abandonment, prevention, Europe


Child abandonment is a neglected issue in Europe. Few countries keep records regarding the number of children abandoned, abandonment is seldom legally defined in legislation, and very little research exists regarding the extent, causes and consequences of this phenomenon. A two-year project was conducted that aimed to explore child abandon-ment and its prevention in Europe. Staff from 100 maternity units and 100 prevention programmes in ten countries were interviewed (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark,France, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom). Government departments and non-governmental organisations in other European countries were contacted for information relating to child abandonment in their country. The research found little information regarding the number of children abandoned outdoors or in public places. However, some countries do keep national records of children abandoned in maternity units. The approaches to addressing child abandonment vary. In some countries it is no longer illegal to abandon a child, provided that the child is left in a safe place. Of the  27 European Union (EU) countries, ten still have baby hatches in operation. In terms of preventing child abandonment, despite a great deal of good work being done, considerably more effort is required in order to develop effective, evidence-based prevention programmes.


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