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Press release

World Children's Day – Europe must do more to build a better world for all children

Press release from EFA MEP Diana Riba (ERC)

On World Children's Day – 20 November 2019 – EFA MEP Diana Riba has called for the EU to do more to build a better world for all children.

That means ensuring that children's rights are respected in all aspects of EU law, and taking concrete steps to end child poverty in Europe.

There also needs to be greater investment in public services for children such as education, health and kindergartens.

Today's World Children's Day is a landmark as it is thirty years since the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Diana Riba MEP, a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, said:

"On World Children's Day it is important to remember that children too have rights. Europe must be a point of reference in ensuring that children – one of the most vulnerable parts of society – have all of their rights respected.

"This is why the European Commission and the Member States have to ensure that the principle of the best interests of the child is always fully respected in all aspects of EU legislation.

"One of our main goals must be to end child poverty. We have to make sure that future generations are growing up in inclusive and prosperous societies where no one is left behind, and by setting targets to reduce child poverty by half in Europe's 2030 agenda.

"Europe's Member States should adopt laws to safeguard and strengthen maternity and paternity rights in order to provide a healthy, stable environment for children in particular in the first months of their lives. Similarly, we should also ensure the full implementation of the Work-Life Balance Directive, since achieving a better, fairer work-life balance will have a positive impact on children's welfare.

"Finally, I urge the Member States to invest in public services for children, including childcare, education and health, and particularly in extending the public network of kindergartens, nurseries and public utility services offering leisure activities for children.

"Working for children is working for our future. We must have clear and ambitious goals to aspire to a better future."