Representatives of National Children’s Network and UNICEF met on April 5th with lawmakers from the informal Parliamentary Group for Children to discuss future steps in developing policies for children and families in Bulgaria.
The Network team highlights a few key points that need to be met to ensure that there are developments in children’s policies:
- A body is needed to coordinate policies for children – many important issues are in the hands of various ministries and agencies and there is an urgent need for coordination and joint work.
- Adoption of a Strategy for the child – we need a common vision and plan of what we want for Bulgarian children and how we can achieve it
- Place of children in the state budget – the financial instrument of the NNC shows that not enough funds are allocated for the needs of children.
- Shared understanding of children’s rights – to start thinking of them as equal individuals who can and need to participate in public life.
- “It is high time we stopped drawing dividing lines and shifting the ball of responsibility between the various institutions. It is time to work together to overcome the real problems,”said Plamena Nikolova, director of Children’s Policy at the NNC.
Elisaveta Belobradova, Krassimir Valchev, Atanas Slavov, Venice Netsova-Angova were among the MPs who supported the need to change the legislation so that the interests of children are protected as well as possible. They supported the ideas of the civil sector and stated their readiness to help create a format for work in which the executive and the legislature, together with NGO experts, sit together at one table for the future of children.
After three election campaigns last year, the Parliamentary Group for Children brought together an impressive 220 members from different political formations, who guaranteed with their name that children would be their priority, work actively for them and support policies for the well-being of families. 32 MPs from 5 political forces in the 47th National Assembly supported the initiative and declared their commitment to work for a better future for children and families in Bulgaria.