United Kingdom: First Ever Manifesto for Children of Alcoholics (CoA)
As announced in the civil society open letter to the highest leadership at the UN, a Manifesto for Children of Alcoholics was launched in the British parliament.
One in five children in the UK lives with a parent who has an alcohol problem – that amounts to over 2.5 million children. They are Britain’s innocent victims of alcohol’s harm to others.
Launch in the parliament
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Children of Alcoholics hosted the launch of the manifesto.
Today sees the launch of the first ever manifesto for children of alcoholics at the House of Commons.
The hard-hitting manifesto, published to coincide with International CoA Week, sets out a 10-point plan to help Britain’s 2.6 million innocent victims of alcohol – the children growing up in homes ravaged by alcohol.
It is co-written by children of alcoholics, policy makers and experts from charities, interest groups and medicine. It demands that the Government do the following:
- Take responsibility for children of alcoholics
- Create a national strategy for COAs
- Properly fund local support for COAs
- Increase availability of support for families battling addiction to alcohol
- Boost education and awareness for children
- Boost education and training for those with a responsibility for children
- Develop a plan to change public attitudes
- Revise the national strategy to tackle alcoholism to focus on price and availability
- Curtail the promotion of alcohol – especially to children
- Take responsibility for reducing rates of alcoholism
Dire situation of CoA in Britain
The APPG conducted research that outlines the dire situation of CoA in Britain:
- None of the 138 respondent Local Authorities have a specific strategy for support for children of alcoholics.
- Almost no Local Authority is increasing its drug and substance abuse treatment budgets, despite the increases in alcohol-related hospital admissions.
- The number of people accessing alcohol treatment varies widely, from 0.4% of a Local Authority’s estimated number of hazardous drinkers to 11%.
- There is very little uniformity in the data provided by different authorities. Although a number of national measurement systems for alcohol misuse are available, these are not used by all Local Authorities.
The hidden stigma attached to children of alcoholics typically means that they suffer in silence. This needs to change.”