During the last elections, a coalition of European elections will be held across the European Union between 23rd and 26th May 2019. European citizens will go to the polls in their respective countries and cast a vote for their representatives in the European Parliament. This translates into a change in the political landscape of the European Parliament and the European Commission. Child rights organisations came together to enrol over 100 MEPs that were elected as Child Rights Champions. This led to establishment of a parliamentary Intergroup on Children’s Rights.
Based on Eurochild success in the 2014 European Elections, a similar coalition of organisations working on children’s issues is working again to recruit Child Rights Champions for the next European Parliament and advocate for the re-establishment of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights.
The Vote for Children coalition calls on European Parliamentary candidates to become Child Rights Champions to:
1. Break the cycles of poverty, inequality and conflict for future generations By intervening early, we can break these cycles and empower children through education, social services and strengthened child-care and child protection systems. The EU has a role to play in stopping the war on children beyond its borders by ensuring they are protected, and by recognising and supporting children as actors of peace.
2. Invest in children inside and outside Europe Investing in children is the best way to break these cycles and invest in everybody’s future. Healthy, educated, resilient children lead to more prosperous, sustainable, stable and safe societies. This investment is not just about money. It also means ensuring that rights-based and sustainable policies are adopted to create the Europe children need.
3. LISTEN to children’s voices, INVOLVE them in decisions affecting them and ACT on children’s views Even though children are the future of Europe and have valuable opinions, we do not listen to them enough. Politicians are accountable for decisions they take that affect children. MEPs must listen to children and involve them in decisions that affect them. They must act on children’s views and take responsibility for decisions that impact them. The results will not only help children participate as active citizens and empower them as agents for change, but will transform our politics, our environment, our societies and the Europe of the future.
A few concrete proposals to make the EU deliver for children include (but not limited to):
• Re-establishing the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights and working together with children, civil society and international organisations to build a more holistic internal and external agenda for children.
• Ensuring the next long-term EU Budget invests in children and areas that impact them, particularly through Cohesion policy (European Social Fund + and European Regional and Development Fund), the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance and the Rights and Values and Erasmus+ programmes.
• Making sure the EU adopts a Child Guarantee so that every impoverished or socially excluded child in Europe can access basic services.
• Ensuring political parties engage with and listen to children by supplying child-friendly information about policies affecting them, providing opportunities for children to share their views and encouraging children to give feedback on the services they use.
• Guaranteeing the new European Parliament promotes and protects children’s rights regardless of children’s origin or migration status.
• Ensuring the new European Parliament champions a comprehensive EU strategy on ending all forms of inequality, segregation, discrimination and violence against children, including girls and young women, everywhere.
• Making sure the European Parliament stands up for foreign and domestic policies which respect the rights of children by providing comprehensive child protection systems, supporting the transition to family and community-based care, protecting children in conflict and investing in children so they can survive and thrive.
See the flyer for the Vote for Children campaign here!
You will find more info on this campaign here: www.childrightsmanifesto.eu