Child Poverty: new Statement by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

Today, 11 December 2019, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has expressed concern about the very high rates of child poverty in Europe and the growing inequalities that particularly affect them. In a declaration adopted today, the Committee of Ministers calls on member states to take certain actions, including:

  • Implementing the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016 – 2021);

  • Improving child protection services, taking into account particularly vulnerable situations (e.g. children without parental care, single-parent families, children with disabilities, Roma children, and refugee and migrant children);

  • Reviewing the objectives and funding of services such as child protection, education and social services.

Reference is also made to the revised European Social Charter which sets out a set of minimum standards that protect children’s rights, including the rights to protection of health, education, childcare, social and medical assistance and social protection. Article 30 of the Charter guarantees the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion and requires member States to adopt an overall and coordinated approach to combat poverty.

Today’s statement follows the recent publication by the Council of Europe of a report, Protecting the Child from Poverty: The Role of Rights in the Council of Europe. The report was authored by Doughty Street Chambers Academic Expert Professor Aoife Nolan, who co-leads the Children’s Rights Group. Professor Nolan also provided comments on a draft version of the statement, drawing on her report's findings.

Further Reading

  • The Committee of Ministers’ Declaration is available here.

  • Professor Aoife Nolan’s report is available here.

  • More information about our Children’s Rights Group is available here.