The Netherlands demonstrates good practice in addressing child poverty
Date: 20th September 2016
Category: Child poverty
The Netherlands EU Presidency has achieved a high grade in the Eurochild scorecard which measures EU presidencies on four key criteria: addressing child poverty, for which it received top marks; mainstreaming children's rights in broader policies, progressing the EU children's rights agenda and listening to children, for which it received above average grades.
In Europe, one in four children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The adoption of the Council Conclusions on 'Combating poverty and social exclusion: an integrated approach' is an important marker of how European countries can share practices and policies while ensuring integrated approaches are streamlined throughout the EU.
The Dutch EU Presidency has pushed EU countries to tackle child poverty in a holistic fashion. But now is the time to "look inward and act nationally too", says Pien Klieverik, Dutch Children's Rights Coalition (National Partner Network of Eurochild) and Defence for Children Netherlands.
Eurochild recommends that the Dutch government develops an action plan to target child poverty nationally and separately, withdraws its reservation to article 26 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, thus fully respecting the child's right to benefit from social security.
The Presidency also focused on education as a tool for addressing the skills gap to foster job growth and embarked upon their very own educational journey as teachers. The 'EU back to school' programme enabled members of the Presidency and EU institutions to engage in interactive lectures with young people on current EU issues and the workings of the institutions. Direct engagement with children can better inform policy makers about the children's views and create a more honest engagement with the impact of their work.
"During their 6-month Presidency, the Dutch showed determination to make poverty - and in particular child poverty - more visible so as to encourage more exchange of policies and practice. They also had a fresh approach to engaging directly with children and young people. We hope future presidencies will be inspired by their efforts", concluded Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild.