In May this year, the European Commission confirmed the adoption of a European Child Guarantee in the first quarter of 2021. According to the Roadmap on the new Child Guarantee, the initiative will contribute to implementing Principle 11 of the European Pillar of Social Rights on childcare and support to children, and will be one of the deliverables of the Action Plan to implement to Pillar. The Child Guarantee will also be an instrument of the upcoming EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, to be adopted at the same time.
The Child Guarantee will focus on “children in need”. This includes: children living in poverty, children with a migrant background, children in institutions and children with disabilities. It will seek to address, in particular, gaps in access to early childhood education and care (ECED), health care, education, nutrition, housing, culture and leisure activities.
As part of the European Commission’s public consultation on the new Child Guarantee, which closed in November, ENIL, Validity Foundation and Disability Rights International submitted a joint response. We highlighted seven priorities, which are key for ensuring equal access to human rights for children with disabilities, and children living in institutions:
- Provide all children with the right to grow up in a family
- Ensure access of all children with disabilities to inclusive education
- Ensure that EU Funds support family-based care and are not invested in institutions
- Ensure access of children with disabilities to independent living and personal assistance
- Prioritise children with disabilities in deinstitutionalisation reforms
- Ensure participation of children with disabilities in decisions that concern them
- Prioritise the needs of children with disabilities, including children in institutions, during COVID response and recovery
Our joint submission has been sent to the European Commission and we hope our priorities will be adequately covered in the text of the Child Guarantee.
Read the full submission here.