On the 14th of June, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) has adopted the Commission proposal on establishing a European Child Guarantee.
This initiative implements Principle 11 of the European Pillar of Social Rights, according to which “Children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality. Children have the right to protection from poverty. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the right to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities.”
The objective of the Child Guarantee is to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion across generations by providing guidance and means for the Member States to support children in need, i.e. persons under the age of 18 years who are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The Guarantee was adopted in light of the vast number of children in the EU who are currently living in households at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
In 2019, children in need were 22.2% of children in the EU, amounting to nearly 18 million children. Within minority groups, figures are significantly higher; for instance, around 60% of Roma children live in severe material deprivation and 80% are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The initiative will prevent and fight poverty and social exclusion by guaranteeing access for children in need to a set of key services.
In particular, Member States must guarantee free and effective access for children in need to:
- early childhood education and care
- education and school-based activities
- at least one healthy meal each school day
Member States also must guarantee effective access to:
- healthy nutrition
- adequate housing
The Guarantee also requires that Member States take into account the specific needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as those experiencing homelessness, disabilities, children with precarious family situations, migrant, minority racial or ethnic backgrounds or those in alternative care.
Member States most affected must spend 5% of their allocated funds under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) on fighting child poverty and social exclusion. States can also make use of Next Generation EU, the European Regional Development Fund, InvestEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility to fund measures tackling child poverty and social exclusion.
Member States are required to establish National Child Guarantee Coordinators, set up National Action Plans, and report every two years to the Commission on the progress in implementing the Guarantee.
Read in full Child Guarantee – briefing.
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
Being visible and vocal on issues directly affecting millions of people requires your support.
Become Inclusion Europe supporter and help us keep doing our work.