Combating child poverty across Europe: an issue of fundamental rights
Date: 7th November 2018
Category: Child poverty
Child poverty is an issue of fundamental rights and legally binding obligations for EU Member States and EU institutions, concludes the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in its latest report. As Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Agency for Fundamental Rights, has stated in response to the launch of the report:
“Child poverty has no place in Europe, one of the world’s richest regions. We have the means to help end the deplorable conditions facing so many of Europe’s children. Now we need action so the EU and its Member States honour their commitments to uphold the rights of children to give them a better future.”
Published in October 2018, Combating child poverty across Europe: an issue of fundamental rights provides a thorough analysis of the legislative frameworks at European level, arguing that eliminating child poverty cannot achieved through policy alone. It points to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU Charter), as well as international human rights frameworks, especially those enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the European Social Charter (ESC), to argues that child poverty is “an issue of fundamental rights and legally binding obligations, both for EU Member States and EU institutions”.
In Europe, it is estimated that just under 25 million children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, living in households with low-incomes or low employment levels and/or experience material deprivation. The risk of poverty or social exclusion is notably greater for children belonging to groups with a higher risk of marginalisation and exclusion, such as Roma children, children of migrants, children with disabilities and children of single-parent or large families. Experiences of poverty can impact on a child’s development, health, wellbeing, education and relationships – the consequences of which can extend into adulthood.
The European Union has identified protecting children from child poverty as one of its key priorities in the European Pillar of Social Rights, which although not legally binding, evidences a clear commitment to this area.
- Watch Michael O’Flaherty’s video blog on child poverty.
- Read Together’s short guide to children’s rights instruments at European level.