One in two children is subjected to some form of abuse and one in three is at risk of poverty and social exclusion, the Save the Children Association said in a release to Agerpres on Tuesday.
“In Romania, one in two children is affected by functional illiteracy, is subjected to some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence, one child in three lives at risk of poverty and social exclusion, six children in a thousand die before reaching the age of one, 750 girls under 15 become mothers annually, at least 100,000 children live without one or both parents, the 78,000 children with disabilities are not provided with the necessary conditions for social and educational integration, and involving the children in decisions that concern them is not a concern of today’s society,” the statement reads.
The organization calls on the authorities to stop the “state of unconstitutionality the parties’ political programs, the state budget laws and the decisions on local budget allocations are increasingly mired into, as the strategic and applicative substantiation of these acts disregards the constitutional principle of ‘ensuring a special protection and assistance regime in the realization of children’s rights’,” and calls on Parliament and the government to urgently address the 10 major problems facing children in Romania.
The issues identified are poverty of families and communities where children live, fair and quality education for all children, violence against children, post-pandemic child psychotherapeutic care, teenage pregnancy, the protection of children with parents abroad, natality and infant mortality, the protection of institutionalized children, the integration of children with disabilities and/or special educational needs into the educational system and the participation of children in decision-making processes that directly concern them.
Against this background, Save the Children considers that the European Child Guarantee is an essential tool for Romanian children.
“We believe that the implementation in Romania of the future ‘Child Guarantee’, an EU instrument aimed at preventing and combating child social exclusion, will be the main direction for guaranteeing essential services to vulnerable children. After the adoption of the Guarantee, which is planned for this month, the Romanian Parliament and government will be obliged to adopt concrete measures to ensure effective and free access to quality medical and education services, early childhood care, at least one healthy meal every school day for all children, adequate housing and proper nutrition,” the release reads.
According to the cited source, the European institutions consider that the most vulnerable categories of children are those without shelter or exposed to severe housing deprivation, children with disabilities, children affected by migration, children belonging to an ethnic minority, children from protection and family institutions and those from families exposed to risk factors that can lead to social exclusion.