Report approved by Parliament today could be an effective instrument to address child poverty
The report on 'Reducing inequalities with a special focus on child poverty' was approved today by the European Parliament, with 569 votes in favour, 77 votes against and 49 abstentions.
Portuguese MEP, Inês Zuber, who was the rapporteur for this report, comments: “Due to the EU-imposed austerity measures, child poverty has dramatically increased in the member states in recent years, from 26.5 million children at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2008 to 28 million in 2012.”
“These policies clearly contradict the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, namely those rights concerning health, education and social security services.
“The report approved today primarily focuses on child poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon, related to wealth redistribution and government income support. It maintains that child poverty requires policy solutions that promote universal access to free and high quality public services, tackle unemployment, job security and employment rights, parenting support, social and cultural inclusion, balanced nutrition and adequate housing.
“Despite the overall focus of the report, some MEPs on the EMPL committee that developed this report voted to include elements of the EU's austerity policies which are expressed in the European Semester, the Europe 2020 targets and the Economic and Monetary Union rules. Whether targets for alleviation of poverty are included or not, these elements are no different from the policies that led EU populations, especially children, to the current dramatic situation. These elements were unfortunately backed by the majority of the European Parliament.
“Nevertheless, this report could still be an effective and important instrument to tackle child poverty and inequalities,” Zuber concluded.
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