Global Carer Strategy and Action Plan
The magnitude of the contributions made by carers has given rise to better awareness of, and appreciation for, unpaid care in society. The global COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the diversity of carers, their critical role, and the urgency to create a global action plan. As global champions of carers, the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) has laid out a path for governments and international public health organisations to provide a combination of actions to sustain the contributions made by carers while successfully developing national economies.
A global strategy and action plan for carers will provide a framework for IACO member organisations, other countries and IACO strategic partners to contribute to achieving the vision of a global understanding and recognition of the essential role of carers with respect to care recipients, health and social care systems and society. The global action plan will:
- Foster a commitment to action for carers.
- Encourage the development of carer-friendly policies and programmes.
- Ensure inclusion of carers’ experiences and voices in health and social policy planning.
- Expand research to enhance understanding of the current and evolving carer challenges.
- Validate outcomes through evaluation and accountability frameworks.
2021 Global State of Caring
Building on the seminal work of the 2018 Global State of Care report, the 2021 edition provides a more in-depth profile of the issues, approaches, policies, and innovations that are needed to support carers. The 2021 Global State of Caring profiles the carer policies and practices in 18 countries. This interactive tool features carer initiatives addressing six universal carer priorities:
- Recognition: Legislation and awareness campaigns
- Financial support: Income support, pensions and benefits
- Work and education: Carer-friendly workplaces and educational initiatives
- Health and well-being: Health and social supports
- Information and knowledge: Resources and education
- Evidence-informed practices: Innovative policies and practices
The IACO Principles for Carers is a statement of the core values and principles to guide work of the global alliance. The charter addresses six areas that carers and the organizations that support them have identified as important. Ratified by the 2019 General Assembly meeting of the IACO members, the principles service as a reference for consultations and dialogue in the creation of a global strategy and action plan for carers.
Principle 1: Recognition
Carers are recognised for the central role they play in the well-being of the person they are caring for, in community capacity, in society and economic prosperity.
Principle 2: Equal opportunities
Carers have a right to equal opportunities and the ability to specify preferences in all spheres of life, including to what extent they want to be involved in care.
Principle 3:Information and knowledge
Carers have a right to access the information, advocacy and training, appropriate to their stage of the caring journey, and to look after their well-being.
Principle 4: Health and Well-being
Carers have a right to access support and time off from caring to uphold their physical and mental health, to make and maintain social connections and to pursue interests outside of their caring responsibilities.
Principle 5: Employment
Carers have a right to combine caring with paid employment, be supported by their employers and have equal opportunities to remain in and return to work.
Principle 6: Financial security
Carers do not experience economic hardship as a result of caring and are financially secure through schemes that alleviate the pressure on personal finances from caring.