EU strategy on the rights of the child/Child Guarantee

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stanovisko EHSV: EU strategy on the rights of the child/Child Guarantee

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes both the Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the Child Guarantee, and considers that their implementation will help support efforts at European and national level aimed at promoting children's well-being and reducing child poverty;
  • believes that breaking the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage requires a coordinated European approach based on strong policy and legal frameworks; underlines the need to mainstream children's rights into policy-making;
  • points at the need to support parents and carers via a variety of actions, amongst which adequate income and work-life balance; considers that addressing the vulnerability of a child requires addressing the vulnerability of their family; investment in children and their families should be a priority, whilst providing high quality support to assist families in raising children through positive parenting skills;
  • calls for the consultation and involvement of organised civil society, children's and family organisations, amongst other stakeholders, in the drafting of national action plans and their monitoring mechanisms; national action plans should include transparent data on the use of EU and national funds, as well as a timeline of activities;
  • recommends all Member States to earmark ESF+ funding for lifting children out of poverty, with the designated 5% taken as a minimum; furthermore, they should grant free access to early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities and healthcare or grant these free of charge;
  • points at the need for capacity-building for both children and adults, including through non-formal activities provided by civil society actors, in order to support children's participation and make their voices and claims heard;
  • considers that integrated child protection systems proposed by the strategy should be complemented by measures preventing all forms of violence against children; points at the need of a plan involving all levels of government aimed at addressing and preventing violence against children;
  • welcomes the focus on child poverty, deprivation, discrimination and exclusion under the Child Guarantee and encourages Member States to present qualitative and quantitative targets in their Child Guarantee Action Plans;
  • considers that addressing child and family poverty under the Child Guarantee also includes addressing digital deprivation; welcomes the proposal for Child Guarantee National Coordinators, who will coordinate and monitor the Guarantee's implementation.