41.1 percent of the 185,107 children and adolescents in Extremadura are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, according to Unicef. These figures are much higher than the national average, which stands at 32.9%, and the European Union average, 26.9% in 2015.
Given this situation, the NGO’s challenge is to reduce these figures to zero, which is why it requests measures from public administrations. This was said by Santos Benítez, vice president of Unicef Extremadura Committee, at the signing of the renewal of the Pact for Children with the Assembly of Extremadura.
This agreement comes with the consensus of the four parliamentary groups, which motivates the pact to become autonomous, since the 2011 pact was signed with the political parties.
In this sense, the president of the Assembly, Blanca Martín, considered that children’s rights are an issue “that is not trivial” and that should concern Extremadura parliamentarism. In addition, she affirmed that the pact must be put into operation and worked on, while predicting good development when it was born from the political consensus.
For his part, Benítez indicated that 15 autonomous agreements of these characteristics have already been signed – only Madrid and Asturias are missing – and advocated that they serve so that the political agenda takes more into account children, which have been one of the most affected sectors. due to the economic crisis as public resources allocated to it were reduced.
According to the regional representative of Unicef, actions are necessary to achieve equal opportunities and he requested the creation of a commission to monitor the measures that are implemented in order for the pact to be effective, as well as for the budgets to have a “minimum percentage” allocated to these policies.
Furthermore, the agreement incorporates the preparation of situation reports to measure child well-being from a rights-based approach, in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the reality of this group.
Finally, Benítez reported that Unicef has several programs underway in Extremadura. For example, that of child-friendly cities, which will reach thirteen locations in 2019, and that of rights education, which takes place in educational centers.