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Child poverty: Countries backing European Child Guarantee

A taskforce of some of the EU’s most prominent child rights organisations has thrown its weight behind the European Child Guarantee, aimed at making sure impoverished children have access to the most basic human rights.

Eurochild, an umbrella organisation for EU child welfare organisations, has put together the taskforce, which involves a leading child rights body from each of the nine countries involved.

Around one in four children in the EU – more than the working age or older population – live with the threat of poverty or social exclusion. That was one of the tenets behind the creation in 2019 (formally adopted in June this year) of the European Child Guarantee, based on ensuring access for children under 18 to services like early years education and care, education, healthcare, nutrition and housing.

With EU countries developing their own national action plans on the Guarantee ahead of the submission deadline of the end of March 2022, society now has what Eurochild calls a ‘pivotal window of opportunity to influence measures and policies that will characterise the national fight against child poverty and social exclusion’.

‘An important driver of change’

Eurochild says its taskforce will be an important driver of change, and ensure that national governments and political leadership prioritise the Guarantee.

“The Taskforce will provide the organisations a space to share and examine innovative approaches, strategizing and exchanging relevant knowledge and good practices, to better influence the development of national action plans in their respective country,” it adds.

The Guarantee complements the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, which pools all existing and future initiatives on children’s rights under one coherent policy framework, and makes concrete recommendations for both the internal and external EU action.

Those organisations making up the taskforce are:

Bulgaria- The National Network for Child;

Germany- The German Children’s Fund;

Greece- The Smile of the Child;

Hungary– Family, Child, Youth Association;

Ireland- Children’s Rights Alliance;

Italy- Fondazione L’Albero della Vita ONLUS;

Portugal- Instituto de Apoio à Criança;

Romania- Hope and Homes for Children Romania;

 Spain- Plataforma de Organizaciones de Infancia.

The taskforce will work on individual country reports that should be published in January 2022, and should provide strong evidence-based arguments. They will also provide information to EU institutions such as data and case studies from the national-level perspective and help shape the European Commission’s common monitoring framework.

Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild, said: “The adoption of the Child Guarantee is a historic moment for the protection of children’s rights in Europe. With more than 1 in 4 children facing poverty in the EU before the pandemic, the Child Guarantee initiative is needed now more than ever. The political stamp of approval in the form of the Council Recommendation demonstrates that all 27 EU countries have recognised the urgent need to tackle child poverty and are committed to act.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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