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UN´s Committee on the Rights of the Child concerned about the standard of living and education of Roma children and existing discrimination and stigmatization

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The Concluding Observations of the Committee reflect the concerns expressed by FSG in the Complementary Report presented to the United Nations by the Children's Platform, and makes specific recommendations to the Spanish Government.

09/02/2018
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UN´s Committee on the Rights of the Child concerned about the standard of living and education of Roma children and existing discrimination and stigmatization<br><br>The Concluding Observations of the Committee reflect the concerns expressed by FSG in the Complementary Report presented to the United Nations by the Children's Platform, and makes specific recommendations to the Spanish Government.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has just published its findings on Spain which it examined during its latest session in Geneva. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, a panel of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the UN convention on the rights of the child, said in its concluding observations that it was seriously concerned that the level of investment in children by Spain has been inadequate to offset the negative impact of the severe economic and social crisis that began in 2008 and that has led to increased poverty and social inequality. The Committee expressed concern over the particularly negative impact that the cuts in public investment in the areas of education, health, housing and social protection has had on children in disadvantaged or marginalized situations, including children from low-income families and Roma children.

The concluding observations  of the Committee are the result of an examination periodically carried out to the States that, like Spain, have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  These observations take into account not only the reports presented by the Governments, but also those submitted by civil society such as the Complementary Report of the Spanish Children's Platform (Plataforma pro Infancia), in which the FSG has participated, and the report by over Spanish 3,000 children, "Grading our rights", in which FSG has also participated, involving Roma children in this participatory process.

Fundación Secretariado Gitano welcomes the general recommendations to the Government of Spain, and we are particularly satisfied with the focus of these recommendations of the three main areas of inequality that affect Roma children: education, discrimination and child poverty.

 

Allocation of resources

The Committee expresses its concern over the particularly negative impact that the cuts in public investment in the areas of education, health, housing and social protection have had on children in disadvantaged or marginalized situations, including children from low-income families and Roma children.

 

Education (III.H.39-40)

With regards to what the Committee considers one of the most relevant areas, the UN body expresses its deep concern over the de facto uneven implementation of the constitutional right to education, with unequal investment in education by Autonomous Communities and a slight decrease in overall investment in education. It is in this point that the Committee shows particular concern about the weaker education outcomes of Roma children and those with migrant backgrounds and about the concentration of these children in certain schools and urges the State to actively develop measures to ensure these children have the adequate support to remain in school and ensure equal access to quality education.

 

Non-discrimination (III. C. General Principles. 14-15)

The Committee expresses its deep concern about the persistence, despite efforts undertaken by the State party, of racial discrimination against and stigmatization of Roma children and children with migrant backgrounds. And urges Spain to strengthen measures to prevent and combat discrimination against children in all sectors of society and ensure the full implementation of relevant existing laws prohibiting discrimination. It also recommends that the State party strengthen public education campaigns to combat stigmatization and discrimination against, particularly, children from ethnic minorities, including Roma children, children with foreign backgrounds, asylum seeking and refugee children, and children with disabilities.

 

Standard of living (III. G. 37-38)

The Committee also expressed concern over the increase in the average national indicators on social exclusion, poverty and inequality, while investment in social protection measures related to children continue to be well below the European average. According to the Committee “the financial crisis has negatively impacted the social protection systems in the State party and resulted in insufficient coverage and delays in processing times of benefit allowances for children and their families, particularly at the level of autonomous communities”.  The Committee shows particular concern about cases of children living in slums and in housing of substandard quality in some autonomous communities, particularly Roma children and children with migrant backgrounds, and of cases of evictions of families with children. The Committee therefor urges Spain to strengthen comprehensive social protection policies for children and their families, with a specific focus on children and families at risk and in most need of support and to Increase efforts and resources to implement the Spanish National Strategy for Roma Inclusion (2012-2020).

 

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