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Seminar and Panel discussion: “Child Poverty is a badge of shame for Europe”


19 Jun 2012 08:00



Event Type

M - Seminar, presentation

Organiser type

Federations / Associations


Global Europe

Event Location


Event Description

Caritas Europa invites you to a Seminar and Panel discussion on Child Poverty on Tuesday 19 June 2012 from 10:00 to 13:00.
The Seminar, “Tackling Child Poverty – Good Practice Shaping Policy” will gather child poverty experts from across Europe whose valuable inputs could contribute to achieving a Europe free of child poverty. These experts will be available for interviews or comments.
The Seminar will take place at the European Economic and Social Committee, at the Trèves Building, 74, rue de Trèves, Brussels. Please confirm your participation simply by replying to this email.
Caritas organisations in Europe have put child poverty in the centre of their anti-poverty actions. Since the start of its European campaign Zero Poverty. Caritas Europa has been periodically producing materials on child poverty. In 2011 we presented the "Child Poverty: State of Play in Europe 2011". A second report, named "Child Poverty: Good Practices from Caritas Projects in Europe" will be launched during the Seminar on 19 June. Printed copies of both reports will be available at the Seminar.
During the Seminar, Caritas Europa will also present “Ten Pack – Recommendations” to European decision makers on how to tackle Child Poverty.
For your media, the following key-note speakers will be available for interview:
Jean Lambert, MEP UK (Employment and Social Affairs Committee);
Niki Odysseos, Social Affairs Attachée, Cyprus Permanent Represenation to the EU, who speaks about priorities for the forthcoming Cyprus EU Presidency;
Begoña Kalliga, Athens correspondent for ABC. As a journalist and volunteer at the Caritas Athens Refugee Center, Mrs. Kalliga is a spot-on eyewitness on how the Greek economic crisis has affected children in poverty;
Dr Rosemary Keenan, Westminster Catholic Children’s Society, UK;
Maureen O’Neill, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee;
as well the following panellists: Jana Hainsworth (Eurochild) Philippe Cori (UNICEF) Robert Urbé (Caritas Luxembourg), Sian Jones (EAPN) and Catherine Mallet (Eurodiakonia).
To book an interview, please get back to me by 12.00 Monday 18 June (sooner if possible).
Why this Seminar? Why now?
In Europe alone there are 27 Million of children at risk of poverty (Eurostat February 2012). This number has grown as a direct result of the economic crisis. Many of the services on which children-at–risk-of-poverty depend including public health and education and childcare services have experienced significant cutbacks. The economic crisis has also resulted in a loss of employment and insecurity at work. These developments have serious consequences for the families affected and for the well-being of the children in those families.
In 2008, EU leaders were very quick to react to the financial crisis. They showed unprecedented political will when they approved billions of euros of tax-payers’ money being directed to banks and other institutions to save them from bankruptcy. Caritas Europa believes that the eradication of child poverty in Europe is possible if the same political will is shown once again.
Many decision-makers are very much aware of the figures, the statistics and graphs. We are familiar with them too. And we also know many of the children and their families behind these statistics. Thanks to the thousands of Caritas staff and volunteers who work with them via our social services, we are provided with first-hand information about their living conditions and how austerity measures have aggravated them.
While Caritas Europa warmly welcomes the decision of the European Commission to issue a Recommendation on Child Poverty by the end of this year, we are alarmed that many EU Member States are not acting towards the same direction. In order to provide the Commission and other stakeholders with high qualitative information about understanding and effectively tackling child poverty, Caritas Europa is organising the Seminar "Tackling Child Poverty - Good Practice Shaping Policy" on 19 June.
Some facts on Child Poverty in Europe:
·In crisis Europe, poverty and child poverty is rising. The consequences of austerity measures on vulnerable families and their children are very negative and, in certain cases, of extreme gravity.
· There are at least 27 Million children out of 100 million at risk of poverty (ie the number of children living in a household in which disposable income is 60% or less of the national median income) in the European Union.
·The burden of poverty has shifted from the elderly to children across many European countries since the mid-1980s
·Children (those under 18) remaining more at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU than the overall population with a rate of 27.1% as against 23.5%
· “Child Poverty is a badge of shame for Europe – one of the richest regions in the world – and cannot be tolerated any longer”
· 09:30-10:00 Registration
· 10:00 Introduction and Welcome by Chair Maureen O’Neill, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
Keynote Speakers
· 10:05 “The urgent need to tackle Child Poverty in Europe” by Dr Rosemary Keenan, Westminster Catholic Children’s Society
· 10:20 ”The European Commission’s perspective on Child Poverty by Elodie Fazi, European Commission (DG Employment & Social Affairs)
· 10:35 "Child Poverty - a Priority for the forthcoming Cyprus EU Presidency" by Niki Odysseos (Social Affairs Attachée, Cyprus Permanent Represenation to the EU)
· 10:40 ”What role can the European Parliament play in tackling Child Poverty? by Jean Lambert, MEP UK (Employment and Social Affairs Committee)
· 10:50 "The Greek Experience and the Impact on Child Poverty - Eyewitness account" by Begoña Kalliga, Journalist at ABC correspondent in Athens and volunteer at the Caritas Athens Refugee Center
Good Practices in Tackling Child Poverty
· 11:00 Working with Children in Poverty & their Families - Good practices from Caritas Germany
· 11:08 Working with Children in Poverty & their Families – Good practices from Caritas Bulgaria
· 11:16 Working with Children in Poverty & their Families – Good practices from Caritas Armenia
· 11:24 Working with Children in Poverty & their Families – Good practices from Caritas France
· 11:32 Questions from the audience
Panel Discussion:
"What does civil society believe the EU must do to effectively tackle child poverty?"
Panel composed by:Dr Rosemary Keenan , Robert Urbé (Caritas Luxembourg), Sian Jones (EAPN), Catherine Storry (Eurodiakonia), Jana Hainsworth (Eurochild), and Philippe Cori (UNICEF).
·  11:45 Introduction of panelists
·  12:05 Questions from audience to the panel
Final session
·  12:50 Caritas Europa Secretary General, Jorge Nuño Mayer, launches the new Caritas Europa’s report on Child Poverty and outlines key recommendation for tackling child poverty in Europe
·  13:00 Finish 


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