Put children at the heart of policy making, say children’s organisations

Date: 23rd April 2015
Category: Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

A network of over 130 child rights organisations, including Together, has raised concern over the growing divide between commitments made to realise children's rights and the inaction of EU institutions.

Members of Eurochild met in Brussels last week and expressed concern over the lack of political will in Europe to put children at the heart of policy making.

A call has been made by Eurochild to European institutions and governments for sustained efforts in balancing social and economic goals. The call highlights the challenges impacting children's lives across the EU range from cuts in education, health, social assistance, rising discrimination and a failure to protect migrant and refugee children.

It also states that access to quality early childhood care and education is still far from being a reality. More than 1 in 5 children (over 20%) in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia are living in overcrowded and unsafe houses (Eurostat, 2013). Additionally, the demand on Eurochild members' services are increasing while state funding has plummeted.

The call from Eurochild raises concern that insufficient attention is given to quality of service provision, preventing children from growing up to their full potential.

Eurochild is disheartened by the lack of willingness of the new European Commission to invest in children, as is clear from the absence of children from the '10 priorities' of the European Commission.

There is also a lot of uncertainty over what will succeed the 2011 EU Agenda on the Rights of the Child, which is crucial to support EU Member States to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Eurochild has called for the prioritisation of investment in a 'children-first' model and invites European institutions to not lose sight of its future and those that represent it.