The “Coordination of NGOs for the Rights of the Child” (CNRC), which groups together 14 organisations actively campaigning for the rights of the child in French-speaking Belgium, published a comprehensive study around the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis on children in the south of the country on Tuesday. The study stresses that, of all population groups, children are specifically the most affected and both long-term and in as much a direct as an indirect manner.
However, the deterioration of numerous children’s living standards, and therefore also their rights, was inevitable, the study concludes. During the same period (2008-2012), European countries had indeed succeeded in admirably reducing child poverty in their respective countries.
The report states, “For example, this is the case for Finland, Norway, Poland and the Slovak Republic (…). In these four countries, figures indicate a reduction in the level of child poverty of nearly 30%.” In Belgium, the crisis has had a reverse effect, which may be observed in numerous figures.
Indirect harmful effects, notably through austerity measures affecting parents and a general undermining of social services has added to direct effects. Amongst the latter, CNRC particularly points to budget cuts imposed upon the Aide à la Jeunesse en Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (the youth support organisation within the Federation Wallonia-Brussels), but also the shortage of affordable child day care facilities for those just born up to three years old.