European Child Guarantee
Do not forget parents as essential partners
The International Movement ATD Fourth World welcomes the European Child Guarantee initiative. This initiative is the result of a unanimous agreement between member states, who acted together so that all children have good living conditions and environments they can flourish in.
The multidimensional approach of the European Child Guarantee is based on human rights. It will help create ambitious and coherent programs that do not lose sight of the dignity of children and their families. Among its objectives are those aimed at supporting the family and parents, in particular access to decent housing and support for training and employment. This ties in with ATD Fourth World’s request to support families regardless of structure so as to better implement children’s rights.
The planned implementation of the Child Guarantee contains positive and reassuring elements such as the creation of a national Child Guarantee Coordinator and development of a national action plan for each member state.
ATD Fourth World is also pleased with the Guarantee’s desire to give children a voice. As children are the most impacted by this initiative, ATD Fourth World would like to help contribute to the creating of spaces and practices that allow children’s participation in the European Child Guarantee.
However, it is difficult to understand why parents have not been identified as essential partners in the European Child Guarantee, even if the important role and responsibility of parents has been recognized. Parents are on the front lines and act constantly for the well-being of their children. To be deprived of their views, intelligence, knowledge, and ambition for their children substantially reduces the relevance of political measures and undermines the dignity of all. Without recognition of their parents, children are also prevented from seeing themselves as part of a family unit. This holds children back from building their own identity.
ATD Fourth World calls on public authorities and European Union member states to include all parents, from the most organized to the least heard and isolated. Each is a partner that must be consulted and involved, particularly in the development of national child guarantee plans over the next nine months.