On 27 April 2018, the EU Alliance for Investing in Children hosted a side event at the Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth addressing “the EU added-value of investing in children and youth in vulnerable situations”. This was organised by Don Bosco International, Eurochild, EuroHealthNet, and Save the Children International. The event aimed to share good practices to elaborate on effective ways to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR); this was envisaged with two concrete projects complimented by key research findings on the benefits of investing in children.
Drawing on the concrete practices and the research findings, where empowerment, participation, access to affordable quality services and prioritising resources were key components, participants were asked to suggest how the European Pillar of Social Rights could be effectively implemented to improve investments in children. This was debated in three parallel discussions:
- What are the lessons learned of an empowering environment, its impact on children’s development and on their contribution to society? How can we better embed such a rights-based approach in our policy making at different levels?
- Which strategies should be put in place at different levels to promote social inclusion of all children, yielding the best possible outcomes for children, and children in vulnerable situations in particular, through the implementation of the EPSR and as foreseen in the SDGs?
- How can the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), i.e. EU budget, include resources to reach these children and youth?
Investing in children and youth in vulnerable situations requires:
- The energetic and holistic implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Recommendation on Investing in Children.
- Applying a life cycle approach to social investment and social protection.
- The adoption of national poverty reduction strategies and action plans with strong support from EU level.
This can be realised through an ambitious MFF post-2020 which has as aclear and visible priority the reduction of social exclusion and poverty of children.