On the World Children’s Day, the Network of Organizations for Children of Serbia – MODS reminds of the necessity of greater investment in children. Investing in children brings benefits to the society as a whole and represents an investment in the future.
One out of three children in Serbia is at risk of poverty, and the most affected are families with two or more children, where the head of the family is most frequently unemployed. One out of eight children in Serbia lives below the absolute poverty line, which means that they live by about 8.000 dinars a month. Child allowance is received by about 28% of children, almost every third child.
Given the long-term adverse effects of growing up conditions of deprivation, it is important to introduce measures that can alleviate the negative effects of poverty on the child. Poverty can harm the physical, mental and emotional development of children, sometimes even irreversible.
One of the most important measures, besides direct financial investments, is investing in education. The poorest are those who are least educated. In Serbia, only 9% of the poorest children and 6% of Roma children attend kindergartens, compared to 82% of children from households that are better off.
Investing in children comes from the family as well as from the state
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the child has the right to develop “as much as possible” and that the Signatory States should provide “adequate assistance to parents and legal guardians in carrying out their childcare responsibilities and ensure the development of institutions, facilities and care services for children. “
*** World Children’s Day – Why November 20 is important to us?
Recognizing the importance of state intervention in improving the quality of life of children, MODS calls on the Government of the Republic of Serbia to:
- Establish a “child-friendly budget” with clearly visible allocations for children.
- Improve and adopt the Law on Financial Support for the Family with Children (with a significant increase in the allocation for children with disabilities and allocations for child allowances).
- Provide financial, educational, social and health support programs for the most vulnerable families where children are at risk of being displaced.
- Improve the support system for children living in poverty and increase access to education, healthcare, and social protection.
- Improve the system to support children at risk of dropping out of school.
- Establish sustainable and quality support services for children in the local community that will contribute to the social inclusion of children.
- Adopt amendments to the Law on Social Protection with the aim of achieving better adequacy, comprehensiveness, and targeting of financial social benefits.