The upcoming European Parliament elections provide an excellent opportunity for politicians to commit themselves to supporting the most important issues affecting children. A new campaign called #VoteforChildren has been launched with the scope of putting child rights ‘at the heart of EU action’, seeking to render children’s issues to top the agenda for the European elections in May 2019.
Elections provide a great opportunity to reflect on how important is the protection of children's rights to the candidates. Also, as we underline it in our Child Rights 101 for politicians, using children in campaigns always raise some delicate issues as children should not be used for political purposes and need to be protected from manipulation.
The coalition campaign initiated by Eurochild intends to call on all European Parlimentary candidates to become ‘Child Rights Champions'.
The campaign warns that nowadays we all live in an era where in Europe, for the very first time in a generation, parents are truly worried that their children might not have as bright and promising future as they had growing up.
Only a few of the most crucial and worrisome facts we are all facing:
- More than 25 million children in Europe are at risk of poverty and exclusion
- Migrant and refugee children face social exclusion and are denied access to basic social services
- More than half the world’s children – 1.2 billion – live in countries affected by widespread poverty, conflict and discrimination
- Girls face double discrimination due to their age and gender: Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18; and 32 million primary school-aged girls worldwide do not attend school
- Outside of Europe, 1 in 6 children live in conflict settings
- European children will also be affected by the climate change
Therefore, the campaign calls for the most candidates possible to join and cooperate so they could successfully:
- Re-establish the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights
- Ensure that the next long-term EU Budget invests in children and areas that impact them
- Make sure that the EU adopts a Child Guarantee
- Ensure political parties supply child friendly information about policies affecting them as well as provide opportunities for children to share their views
- Guarantee that the European Parliament promotes and protects children’s rights regardless of children’s origin or migration status
- Ensure a new comprehensive EU strategy on ending all forms of inequality, segregation, discrimination and violence against children
- Provide a comprehensive child protection system
Candidates can get further information and register for the program on the official website of the campaign: www.childrightsmanifesto.eu
Link to the official brochure of the campaign: https://www.eurochild.org/fileadmin/public/02_Events/2019/Brochure_childrenrightsManifesto.pdf
The above-mentioned call and our children's rights material for politicians and political campaign organizers have been sent to all Hungarian candidates and electoral committees.