Mayors of major Belgian cities have signed up to a declaration on tackling child poverty, and hope to extend the scope to cities around Europe.
The mayors of EUROCITIES members Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi and Ghent have signed up to a declaration on tackling child poverty. The declaration is the initiative of the Belgian federal government’s urban policy unit, but it is hoping to extend its scope to cities further afield.
The issue of urban child poverty is one that is shared by many large cities, and is closely linked to the Europe 2020 target of lifting 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion.
With 23% of children currently living in poverty across the EU, a figure that is still increasing, it is a challenge that needs to be dealt with urgently. The declaration points out that any measures designed to reduce child poverty will help tackle poverty as a whole. And addressing child poverty now will help avoid consequences such as unemployment, health problems and delinquency that put pressure on local public services.
The signatories commit to supporting the participation of parents, and especially single parents, in society and the labour market. They also make commitments on access to childcare, healthcare, housing and education. The declaration also addresses the issue of cultural, financial and linguistic barriers to children’s participation in education and recreational activities.
Many of the commitments outlined in the declaration are linked to our work on social inclusion and our recently-launched declaration on work, through which mayors commit to tackling barriers to employment and providing good quality jobs for citizens.
We recently featured the example of Nantes’ 25 multipurpose childcare centres, which provide affordable, flexible and accessible childcare to allow parents, especially single parents, to return to work. You can find about more about the project in Nantes and our declaration on work at the link below, as well as an English version of the declaration on child poverty.
For more information on the declaration on child poverty, and to find out how to sign up, please contact Rik Baeten: firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie Tempesta at EUROCITIES (details right).