Rumania, composed by lay volunteers, perform similar functions, offering "legal and social assistance services taking the form of surveillance, primarily of a preventative nature, which intervene effectively only if and when the physical development, education, upbringing, vocational training of the child are endangered by the improper behavior of the parents or their negligence manifested in its upbringing" ( United Nations, 1967, pp. 51-52).
There are organizations that offer child welfare services across national boundaries. International Social Service (ISS) conducts an intercountry adoption program; the International Union for Child Welfare, publishers of the International Child Welfare Review, conducts international child-welfare seminars and conferences and stimulates child welfare research; the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, better known as UNICEF, is active in combating disease and hunger, has equipped maternal and child health centers throughout the world, has inoculated millions of children against a variety of infectious diseases, has distributed billions of pounds of food to hungry children, and has trained thousands of midwives. The United Nations Bureau of Social Affairs collects and disseminates information regarding child welfare problems throughout the world; various agencies of the United Nations offer technical assistance to nations in developing their child welfare services in a demonstration of international mutual aid.
In 1959 the United Nations adopted a Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which explicitly recognizes the right of the child to grow up with affection and acceptance with his own parents in a home that provides adequately for his physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. It stipulates, furthermore, that the child should be given special protection by the community against all forms of neglect, abuse, and exploitation. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child stands as an explicit statement of what the people of the world hope they can achieve for their children.
In December 1976, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution declaring 1979 the International Year of the Child. The International Year of the Child was the twentieth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The objectives in designating 1979 as the International Year of the Child were to heighten the concern about children's needs and intensify efforts to meet these needs. The effort made in behalf of children, as compared with competing priorities, is miniscule, however.
At its annual meeting in June 1978, the executive board of UNICEF allocated $207.5 million for projects in 102 countries and territories. This total budget was the equivalent of the amount that was being spent by the world on armaments in approximately five hours at that time.
The problems that require child welfare services are universal. The services available in each country to meet children's needs are a function of such factors