Can we end EU child poverty? Experts to discuss taking action

Atwo-day Dublin event is organised by a number of international organisations and is the only EU Presidency event focused on children.

HOW CAN WE eliminate child poverty in the European Union?

That is the subject being discussed when experts gather in Dublin today to talk about taking action to fight child poverty and promote child well-being in the EU. This is the only EU Presidency event focused on children.

Maria Corbett, Acting Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said that one in four children in the European Union is at risk of poverty, or already experiencing it.

That equals 25.3 million children. With the economic crisis and government austerity measures, poverty – in particularly child poverty – is escalating across the continent. A key focus of the event is the recent European Commission Recommendation which calls on Governments to ‘invest in children – to break the cycle of disadvantage’.

The European Commission Recommendation ‘Investing in Children: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage‘ was launched on 20 February.

In Ireland, the consistent poverty rate for children has risen from 6.3 per cent in 2008 to 9.3 per cent in 2011. “Child poverty is a scourge which seriously impacts on children’s rights in Ireland,” said Corbett.

The Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card 2013 awarded the Government an ‘F’ grade in ‘Child Poverty’ for targeting children and families in Budget 2013.

Paul Ginnell, of European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland, said the groups will explore how best they can advocate for action by their respective governments on combating child poverty.

The two-day event is jointly organised by Eurochild, European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and UNICEF, under the patronage of the Irish Presidency of the EU. It is co-hosted by their Irish partners, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and UNICEF Ireland.

The event will take place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and can be followed on Twitter by using the hashtag #childpoverty2013.

Ireland also received the news today that it is the 10th best place in the world to be a child, according to UNICEF. Its research shows a decade of steady progress for Ireland’s children.

Read: Ireland is the 10th best place in the world to be a child>

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