Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez advocated a State policy in this field to guarantee support for the work of civil society and pointed out that equal opportunities are incompatible with serious childhood inequalities.
Special attention for child poverty must be a priority and a matter of urgency in any decent country, which indeed Spain is”. Sánchez made this statement at the meeting with representatives of charitable foundations entitled “Child Poverty and the 2030 Agenda”, stressing that to a large degree our childhood is a determining factor in the rest of our lives and that deprivation suffered in our early years has both material and emotional repercussions.
The event was also attended by the Minister for Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Well-being, María Luisa Carcedo, the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Cristina Gallach, and the Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for the Fight against Child Poverty, Sandra León.
Sánchez argued that equal opportunities, which is the basis of the social pact, will not be real for as long as serious childhood inequalities persist. The offices of the High Commissioners coordinate the efforts of the different State bodies and seek to raise awareness of their importance. Such initiatives as the campaign #RompeElCírculo [Break the Circle] also seek to raise awareness in society in general.
Civil society and State policy
Pedro Sánchez recalled the key role that NGOs, religious and business foundations and other associations have always played in the fight against poverty, and advocated “a State policy” that guarantees them material and political support. The State, he declared, cannot ignore the situation by relying on a conscientious civil society to replace it in the “pressing duty” of combating poverty.
“We must work side-by-side, because the needs and the challenges are tremendous, and we must not leave any stone unturned”, stressed Pedro Sánchez, who remarked that the poverty rate that affects children is greater than that suffered by any other age group in Spain, and that different international bodies have pointed to the fact that our Welfare State has a limited capacity to reduce child poverty compared with the majority of countries in the European Union.
Sánchez, who argued that policies to fight child poverty “must be unquestionable”, considers that it is necessary to make a call to combat “a dramatic phenomenon that conditions thousands of lives, but also the collective future of our country”.