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ENOC 18th Annual Conference on The impact of austerity


Title: The impact of austerity and poverty on the realisation of children and young people s rights Author: Hugh Last modified by: user Created Date – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ENOC 18th Annual Conference on The impact of austerity

ENOC 18th Annual Conference onThe impact of
austerity poverty on the realisation of
children young peoples rights
  • What do we need to do to tackle child poverty and
    social exclusion in the European Union?
  • Maynooth University
  • Coordinator, European Social Policy Network

Key Message
  • A real moment of opportunity to make progress on
    tackling child poverty and social exclusion and
    promote childrens rights in EU
  • Growing awareness of scale of challenge
  • Growing fear for future of EU
  • poverty is leading to rise in alienation,
    extremism, discrimination narrow nationalism
  • Demographic imperative creates economic incentive
  • A stronger EU framework than ever before
  • Mid-term review of Europe 2020 Strategy - a
    chance to change direction
  • But progress is not certain
  • Key role for Ombudspersons for children in
    ensuring that we do not miss the opportunity

Basis for presentation
  • Work of EU Network of Independent Experts on
    Social Inclusion
  • Eurochild monitoring of the implementation of
    Europe 2020 Strategy
  • EAPN/Eurochild explainer on child poverty
  • European Social Network work on child poverty

  • Extent and impact of child poverty and social
    exclusion in the EU
  • A stronger EU framework now exists for tackling
    child poverty
  • What needs to happen if real change is to happen

Extent and impact of child poverty and social
exclusion in the EU
Child poverty or social exclusion high and
  • Overall over 1 in 4 children at risk
  • Children at greater risk (28 v 24.8)
  • Wide range across EU (15-52)
  • Increase by 1.1pp between 2008 and 2012
  • Risk higher for lone parent large families
  • Some children at very high risk
  • Roma children
  • Children from migrant / ethnic minority
  • Children with a disability
  • Children in institutional care
  • Homeless children

Persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion
(AROPE), Children (0-17) and total population, ,
EU-28, 2012
Wide ( growing) divergence across EU Children
aged 0-17 at risk of poverty or social exclusion,
, EU-28, 2012 Low 15-21 FI (14.9), DK
(15.3), SE (15.4), SI (16.4), NL (16.9), DE
(18.4), CZ (18.8), AT (20.9) Medium 22-30
EE (22.4), FR (23.2), BE (23.1), LU (24.6), SK
(26.6), CY (27.5), PT (27.8), EU-28 (28.1),PL
(29.3) High 31-35 MT (31.0), UK (31.2), LT
(31.9), ES (33.8), HR (33.8), IT (33.8), IE
(33.1), EL (35.4) Very high 40-52 LV
(40.0), HU (40.9), RO (52.2), BG (52.3)
Economic crisis increasing poverty
  • 2008-2012 upwards trends in children at risk of
    poverty or social exclusion (AROPE)
  • 19 MS statistically significant increases in
    proportion of children AROPE
  • In 7 MS increases are in the range of 6-8pp
  • BG, IE, HU, LV, EL, MT, CY.
  • Only 3 MS recorded significant decreases
  • DE (1.7pp), PT (1.7pp) and PL (3.6pp).

Children in EU at risk of poverty or social
Material deprivation among children according to
the Guio-Gordon-Marlier index (2012), Children
aged 1-15, EU-27, 2009
  • Source EU-SILC 2009 Guio et al. 2012. Reading
    note threshold set at three or more items lacked
    out of the 18 items in index

Poverty damages children and puts their rights at
  • Causes poor physical and mental health
  • Endangers right to secure nurturing family
  • Impacts on social life networks participation
  • Limits emotional, social intellectual
  • Leads to educational disadvantage
  • Affects future well-being employment prospects
  • Reduces childrens expectations, hopes dreams

For a child living in poverty can mean
  • not having enough to eat or a healthy diet
  • not being able to afford new clothes or decent
  • not having the equipment that other children take
    for granted in their country such as books and
    equipment for school or leisure equipment such as
    a bicycle or skateboard
  • living in poor or overcrowded housing sharing
    rooms and living in a cramped space
  • living with inadequate heating and in a home
    suffering from damp
  • lacking a quiet place with enough room and light
    to do homework
  • not being able to afford proper health care or
    high-quality child care or to go to a good school
    or to get help when needed
  • having little chance to play in decent
    non-vandalised playgrounds, to take part in
    sports and creative/cultural activities
  • having little say in the decisions that affect
    daily life.

Childrens voices
  • I close the window every evening, the smell of
    cooking from other flats makes me more hungry.
  • My clothes are clean but old and others are
    laughing at me.
  • I hate my birthday, because I never get presents
    like all the others.
  • You may be a bit shy to invite your friends over
    because when they come in theyll be freezing and
    they might want to leave early.
  • If I look at my mother, how much she is working,
    she has 3 jobs, I never want to grow up become
    an adult, it is too bad.
  • I do not want to go to a school trip because I
    do not want to be a burden on my parents.
  • Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is
    the most terrible poverty.
  • Theres no point in dreaming because things
    dont come true anyway.
  • Children from EE, HU, SE, UK, PL, EL

Child poverty damages society
  • Undermines social solidarity cohesion
  • Results in increased social costs
  • Higher demands on public services such as health
    services, welfare, social protection,
  • Higher unemployment
  • More crime anti-social behaviour
  • Scottish study estimates ending child poverty
    save 16 billion p.a.
  • Reduces economic productivity
  • Less skills lead to less productive jobs more
  • Lower revenues form taxes

Stronger European Framework for Action on Child
Lisbon Treaty
  • Lisbon Treaty (into force since 1 Dec 2009)
  • Horizontal social clause, Article 9 (introduces
    the legal basis for mainstreaming social
    protection and social inclusion objectives across
    EU and national policies)
  • In defining and implementing its policies and
    activities, the Union shall take into account
    requirements linked to the promotion of a high
    level of employment, the guarantee of adequate
    social protection, the fight against social
    exclusion, and a high level of education,
    training and protection of human health
  • Protection of childrens rights introduced among
    the EUs objectives for its internal and external
  • EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (could be a
    first step towards mainstreaming childrens
    rights in EU policies)
  • EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child in 2011

Europe 2020 Strategy
  • Overall objective smart, sustainable and
    inclusive growth
  • Poverty target reduce poverty social
    exclusion by 20 million
  • European Semester
  • Annual Growth Survey
  • National Reform Programme
  • Country Specific Recommendations and Staff
    Working Documents
  • Social OMC and National Social Reports

Social investment package 2013
  • Welfare systems fulfil three functions social
    investment, social protection and stabilisation
    of the economy. Social investment involves
    strengthening peoples current and future
  • Underlying principle Social policies can be
    social investments preventing hardship,
    developing human capital, and empowering and
    supporting people in crucial stages in their
  • 3 integrated pillars
  • Increase sustainability adequacy of social
    systems through simplification better targeting
  • Pursue activating enabling policies through
    targeted more effective support
  • Social Investment throughout the individual's

Commission Recommendation
  • Investing in Children breaking the cycle of
  • Horizontal principles
  • Integrated strategies
  • Childrens rights approach
  • Childs best interests
  • Balancing universal and targeted approaches
  • Special focus on children most at risk
  • Sustain investment and assess impact of policies

(No Transcript)
7 advantages of a rights approach
  • 1. Key to the prevention of child poverty
  • if all childrens rights are respected and
    enabled then children are unlikely to live in
  • 2. Puts the needs of the child at the centre of
  • becomes a core political obligation not just a
    possible policy choice
  • 3. Puts focus on addressing the specific needs
    of the child here and
  • now as well as improving position of their
    families communities
  • 4. Provides framework for developing a
    comprehensive strategy
  • e.g. Sweden
  • 5. Links well-being of children with well-being
    of parents and families
  • puts support for families at the heart of
    policies to tackle child poverty
  • 6. Puts focus on importance of strong
    anti-discrimination legislation
  • 7. Emphasises the right of the children to be
    heard and to
  • participate in the decisions that affect

Commission Recommendation - 2
  • Integrated strategies - 3 pillar framework
  • Access to adequate resources
  • Support parents in labour market
  • Cash and in-kind benefits
  • Access to affordable quality services
  • Early childhood education care
  • Education
  • Preventing educational disadvantage
  • Accessible health systems
  • Adequate housing environment
  • Strong family support alternative care
  • deinsititutionalisation
  • Childrens right to participate
  • Play, recreation cultural activities
  • Participation in decision making

Failure of EU Framework to deliver
Economic austerity has undermined focus on social
  • Social policies on periphery of European Semester
  • Limited coverage of social inclusion issues in
    most NRPs
  • Few Country Specific Recommendations on poverty
  • Lack of social or child impact assessments
  • Social dimension of EMU remains underdeveloped
  • Eurochild Assessments of European Semester
  • efforts being made fall very far short of what is
  • too narrow approach not comprehensive and
  • Weak Social OMC
  • Commission Recommendation still to make real
  • Not mainstreamed in Europe 2020 Strategy
  • Member States with biggest challenges often one
    where implementation is weakest

10 most frequent barriers to implementing
Commission Recommendation
  • Lack of integrated/multi-dimensional strategies
  • Limited mainstreaming of childrens rights
  • Weak balance between universal targeted
  • Limited involvement of stakeholders
  • Lack of evidence-based policy making

10 most frequent barriers to implementing
Commission Recommendation
  • Failure to protect children from impact of crisis
  • Limited support for parents participation in
    labour market
  • Inadequacy (cut-backs) of income support
  • Lack of/cut back in investment in affordable
    services and poor access for most vulnerable
  • Limited use of EU financial instruments

So what needs to happen now to combat child
Better integrate the Recommendation into Europe
  • Specific section in the Annual Growth Survey each
  • All MS to include a specific section in future
    NRPs outlining their key priorities for
    implementing the Recommendation and reporting on
  • Encourage MS to set specific sub-targets on child
    poverty and social exclusion
  • More composite Country Specific Recommendations
    (CSRs) on child poverty and social exclusion
  • Set an EU child poverty and social exclusion
  • Review implementation at of the European Platform
    Against Poverty and Social Exclusion

Promote child well-being as a key part of the
social dimension of EMU
  • the issue of child poverty and social exclusion
    should be made a key part of reinforced
    surveillance of employment and social challenges
    and strengthened policy coordination

Put child well-being at heart of the Social Open
Method of Coordination
  • Social Protection Committee (SPC) and the
    European Commission develop a multiannual work
    programme to follow up on and implement
    Recommendation and to institute regular reporting
    and monitoring on progress
  • all MS should elaborate in their National Social
    Reports (NSRs) on policies and programmes they
    are developing to implement the Recommendation

Child proof austerity policies
  • Member States should be encouraged to put the
    issue of child poverty and well-being at the
    heart of austerity policies and bail out packages
  • use ex-ante and ex-post social impact assessments
  • assess impact on children of packages in
    programme countries

Enhance evidence-based policy making and target
  • MS should further improve the collection and
    timeliness of statistical data on children, make
    full use of the unique potential offered by
    administrative and register data, and to
    complement quantitative data with (more)
    qualitative data where needed, for example on the
    number and living conditions of children in
  • at EU level greater use should be made of the
    child-specific material deprivation EU indicator
    to develop indicators and collect data for
    measuring child well-being as well as child
    poverty and social exclusion in the EU10
  • encourage all MS to develop a survey of children

Strengthen childrens rights approach
  • the Commission and SPC should give careful
    consideration to how the implementation of the
    Recommendation and the reporting process
    associated with it can be brought into closer
    line with both the reporting processes that all
    Member States are required to follow in relation
    to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
    and the implementation of the Commissions own EU
    Agenda for the Rights of the Child
  • the Commission and SPC should consider preparing
    guidelines for Member States on how a focus on
    children as rights holders can in practice be
    used to inform the development of policies for
    the social inclusion of children.

Improve the balance between universal and
targeted approaches
  • make the issue of progressive universalism a key
    theme in the exchange of learning and good
    practice as a means of highlighting positive
    examples in more successful Member States

Enhance the exchange of learning and good
  • ensure that the Knowledge Bank gives a high
    priority to issues of child poverty and social
  • New European Social Policy Network should report
    regularly on progress in Member States on the
    implementation of the Commission Recommendation
  • Commission monitoring could usefully identify
    clusters of Member States facing similar child
    poverty and social exclusion challenges which
    could then be used as a basis for enhanced mutual
    learning (including Peer Reviews)

Reinforcing stakeholder participation
  • develop guidelines for the involvement of
    stakeholders including people experiencing
    poverty in the development, monitoring and
    implementation of strategies and policies to
    prevent and tackle poverty and social exclusion
  • a specific section on involving relevant
    organisations working with children and children
  • use guidelines to monitor Member States

Maximise the use of EU Funds for children
  • Commission should challenge Member States,
    particularly those with high or very high poverty
    or social exclusion rates, to make the social
    inclusion of children a programming priority in
    the use of EU funds in the next programming
    period and it should stress the need to target
    funds at most disadvantaged children and families
  • Commission should encourage Member States to use
    Structural Funds in a strategic manner as part of
    an overall strategy to tackle child poverty and
    social exclusion and to promote child well-being

What should happen in each Member State?
  • See 28 country reports Investing in children
    Breaking the cycle of disadvantage A study of
    national policies, by EU Network of Independent
    Experts on Social Inclusion.
  • Available at http//ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?

  • Let us raise our voices are raised to denounce
    the scandalous social injustice that it is the
    most vulnerable social groups and the most
    vulnerable children who have had to bear the
    brunt of the socialised costs for market failure.
  • Let us all seize the opportunity and work
    together to eradicate child poverty and social
    exclusion and rebuild Europe as a social as well
    as an economic space.
  • Let us insist on a Social Europe that is fit for
    all children and which guarantees and protects
    their rights and well-being

Some useful sources
  • EAPN Eurochild (2013), Towards Childrens
    Well-Being in Europe Explainer on child poverty
    in the EU. Available at http//www.eapn.eu/en/new
  • Eurochild (2014), The 2014 National Reform
    Programmes and National Social Reports from a
    child poverty and well-being perspective.
    Available at http//www.eurochild.org/childpovert
  • European Commission (2013), Investing in
    children breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
    Available at http//ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?
  • Frazer, Guio, Marlier, Vanhercke, Ward (2014)
    Putting the fight against poverty and social
    exclusion at the heart of the EU agenda A
    contribution to the Mid-Term Review of the Europe
    2020 Strategy. Available at http//www.ose.be/EN/
  • Frazer, Marlier and Nicaise (2010), A social
    inclusion roadmap for Europe 2020, Garant,
  • Frazer Marlier (2014), Investing in children
    Breaking the cycle of disadvantage A study of
    national policies. Available at
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