Spanish General Elections 2023: Proposed measures for children and families
Eurochild Spanish member Plataforma de Infancia asks political parties to put children at the center of their agenda
In view of the Spanish general elections on 23 July 2023, Platforma has sent to the main competing political parties a series of proposals aimed at guaranteeing the rights of the child and young people, generally invisible in political programs.
According to the director of Plataforma de Infancia Ricardo Ibarra, “Spain is one of the countries with the greatest challenges in child protection. Children must be an absolute priority for the political parties that are running in the next general elections. Political programs must address the main specific challenges that limit the rights of children and adolescents in our country”.
The Spanish Court must continue to have a specific space to address childhood policies. For this, a specific Legislative Commission for children must be guaranteed in the Parliament and in the Senate. Plataforma also proposes to strengthen and consolidate the State Council for Child and Adolescent Participation, as a stable body for child participation which allows children's views to be taken into consideration and to evaluate the policies that affect them.
Spain is not only one of the countries that invests less in social protection for children and families (1.6% of GDP) than the European Union average (2.5% of GDP), but also the investment it makes is inefficient and unfair. For Almudena Escorial, head of Political Advocacy for Platforma, “Spain lacks a universal economic benefit that supports families to assume and face the costs of raising children. Sufficient parental leave is also necessary, which allows for at least 6 months of breastfeeding recommended by the WHO, or paid leave for care during the rest of the child's stages."
Platforma proposes to include support measures for vulnerable and poor families, such as for example reimbursable tax deductions and benefits to prevent and reduce child poverty.
The current educational system is contributing to increasing inequalities. Spain is the third OECD country with the highest socioeconomic segregation in primary education. To deal with this situation, Plataforms proposes increasing public spending on scholarships and study aid and advancing the commitment to make education accessible to all children from 0 to 3 years.
Platforma also proposes to approve Early Childhood Develoment legislation that guarantees universal, free, intersectoral and specialised early care for every child from 0 to 6 years of age.
Finally, violence against children is a very worrying reality: in 2021, 55,354 complaints were filed. The approval of the Organic Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents against Violence (LOPIVI) has brought great progress, however, there are measures that the legislation itself provides for that have not yet been developed, such as the creation of a Prosecutor's Office and Courts specializing in violence against children, to avoid the re-victimization suffered by boys and girls who are victims of violence in the judicial system.
"Before the next electoral appointment on 23 July, political parties must commit to defending the rights of all children and adolescents from public institutions, assuming in their electoral programs the commitment to place children and adolescents at the center of the political agenda" added Ibarra.