100 years of service
present in over 120 countries
75’000 families supported each year

our story

Vision & Mission

ISS aims to ensure that respect for human rights is accorded to every individual, especially to children.

International Social Service (ISS) founded in 1924 is now present in more than 120 countries and is a global actor in child protection, welfare, and uniting families across international borders.

Summary of

What we do

Find a local ISS partner in your country for access to our international network and information about how ISS can help your situation.

Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Chili: ISS global program “A better future is possible” is designed to promote safe, nurturing family care for children out of parental care with a specific focus on children with disabilities (CWD). This includes supporting national care reforms for children in particular efforts towards family reunification, alternative family-based care, and influencing main stakeholders toward family care.

ISS develops targeted projects to launch and support the Institutionalisation of International Family Mediation. This project aimed to disseminate information and raise awareness about mediation practice to solve cross border family conflicts and to facilitate the access for families to specialized mediators. In 2014, the first guide on International Family Mediation was published to inform and accompany families and professionals.

ISS publishes a monthly newsletter offering an analysis of the latest developments in the field of adoption and protection of children without families. Each publication provides an information update on the evolution of laws and practices both at international and national level. For more information about publications, please check the dedicated section above.

From 2013, ISS called for urgent international regulation of international surrogacy arrangements as they affect the children concerned. The initiative launched by ISS in 2016 resulted in the Verona Principles for the Protection of the Rights of the Child Born Through Surrogacy, which were published in 2021 following a comprehensive consultation process as well as substantive contributions from over 100 experts covering multiple disciplines and perspectives, regions, national and international contexts.

  • A better future for children without parental care
  • International family mediation
  • Research and publications
  • Improving protection for children born through surrogacy

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