Praxis Watch

Friday, 13 October 2017

MODS Hosted Eurochild National Partners Networks

The meeting of the Eurochild National Partners Networks took place on 11 October in Belgrade. The Network of Organisations for Children of Serbiahosted representatives of organisations from 21 European countries, and the meeting was facilitated by Jasmina Miković from Praxis, MODS Management Board President and MODS representative in Eurochild.

The participants considered actual EU policies, focusing on social rights and more efficient investing in children. In addition to presenting the current situation and further challenges in the EU, MODS members Atina, Center for Youth Integration (CYI), Evo ruka, Pomoć deci presented their activities as good practice examples in the field of child rights protection.

The next day, an international conference entitled Investing in Children – Benefit for All Children with guests from 21 European networks, was organised by the Network of Organisations for Children of Serbia (MODS), Eurochild, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (SIPRU) and UNICEF in the Members of Parliament Club in Belgrade.

At the opening of the conference, the importance of aligning public financial resources with the policies and legislation affecting children was highlighted. During the conference, the participants presented international experiences and the examples of public budget allocations with a view of reducing poverty and social exclusion of children. The conference emphasised Serbia’s commitment to fighting against child poverty and meeting the goals of the United Nations development agenda.

On that occasion, Slavica Đukić Dejanović, Minister without Portfolio responsible for demography and population policy and President of the Children’s Rights Council, highlighted the role of the Children’s Rights Council as a mechanism for coordination that would allow for cooperation in the process of monitoring and improvement of policies concerning children.

UNICEF Deputy Director Severine Leonardi pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Serbia was clearly committed to the well-being of children and invested in various types of financial benefits and services that had an impact on children, either directly or indirectly. However, the structure of the budget still did not fully reflect these investments and did not provide a full and detailed insight. Therefore, UNICEF calls for the government to define the methodology for the better monitoring of child-related investments and create the basis for budgeting that is tailor-made for children.

The participants had the opportunity to hear the recorded address of the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Marianne Thyssen who sent a message that childcare practically paid for itself: “In under 10 years our societies get a full return on their investment.”

The conference concluded that it was necessary to intensify the work on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, prioritising the  fight against child poverty, improve the monitoring and evaluation of the financial allocations for children and families in Serbia, and that sets of community services with a larger coverage should be developed to support families, especially those at risk of separation, and to provide financial support to families and children living in poverty.

See more about the conference at the MODS website.

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