Children’s Rights Alliance
In a move benefiting children in poverty across Europe, the European Commission Recommendation on child poverty and well-being, entitled ‘Investing in Children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’, has been adopted today.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said: “The Alliance warmly welcomes this important step, as we have been calling for a recommendation on child poverty for many years. Over 25 million children in the European Union (more than 1 in 4) are experiencing poverty, material deprivation and/or living in households where no adult works. Here in Ireland, we have seen the consistent poverty rate for children rise from 8.7% in 2009 to 9.3% in 2011.”
“Last Monday, the Children’s Rights Alliance launched Report Card 2013, which awarded the Government a totally unacceptable ‘F’ grade in ‘Child Poverty’ for its retrograde steps in targeting children and families.”
“This Recommendation sends a clear message from the EU that Member States must do more to address child poverty levels, and it provides clear guidance on how best to do so. The Alliance will use the European Commission’s Recommendation to encourage action by the Irish Government and to maintain the pressure needed to ensure that real efforts are made to eliminate child poverty here in Ireland.”
The European Commission Recommendation provides helpful guidance to Member States on how to tackle child poverty and promote children’s well-being. It calls for a children’s rights approach and integrated strategies based on three pillars: access to adequate resources; access to affordable quality services; and children’s right to participate. Importantly it links to the implementation of Europe 2020 and the EU financial mechanisms to ensure progress and monitoring. Member States are encouraged to adopt national targets for reducing child poverty and social exclusion.
On 10 - 11 April, the Children’s Rights Alliance will co-host an event in Dublin on child poverty in Europe, in collaboration with UNICEF, Eurochild and the European Anti-Poverty Network. This event will focus on how the Recommendation, and other EU initiatives, may be used by civil society to urge action and offer support to European governments on designing and implementing the best measures to combat child poverty.
For further information and interview bids, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications and Development Manager
Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087 7702845; Fax: (01) 662 9355
Notes to Editor:
Report Card 2013 was the fifth in our annual Report Card publication series, evaluating the Government on its progress during 2012 in meeting its commitments to children, as set out in the 2011 Programme for Government. It is awarded an overall ‘C’ grade for 2012, reflecting a satisfactory attempt to date, though children remain wanting. The full report is available here: http://www.childrensrights.ie/sites/default/files/submissions_reports/fi...
The Children’s Rights Alliance wrote to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD in July 2012 to seek a focus during the Irish EU Presidency 2013 on the endorsement by the European Council of the EU Recommendation on Child Poverty and Wellbeing: [http://childrensrights.ie/sites/default/files/submissions_reports/files/... ]
Further information on the Recommendation and on the broader Social Investment Package is available here: http://europa.eu/newsroom/calendar/event/424052/commission-proposes-a-social-investment-package-for-growth-and-cohesion
This Recommendation was first alluded to at the World Summit for Social Development Copenhagen in 1995, which agreed to “National strategies to reduce overall poverty substantially, including measures to remove the structural barriers that prevent people from escaping poverty, with specific time-bound commitments to eradicate absolute poverty by a target date to be specified by each country in its national context.” See http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/wssd/text-version/agreements/poach2.htm