The minister, who has given the conference of the forum Economy Forum on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, – "the most ratified International Treaty in the world" -, stressed that our welfare model, one of the most effective in the world in reducing poverty among the elderly, "is clumsy when it comes to reducing child poverty."
Carcedo, whose conference has been presented by the president of UNICEF Spain, Gustavo Suárez Pertierra, has acknowledged that "something is happening in Spain when it does not appear that we have managed to generate the conditions so that all young people feel they can raise their children with socioeconomic security."
"Our country has rates of child poverty that we cannot assume," the minister insisted. "In part, this is because investment in families and children is still scarce in Spain and, as some researchers have explained to us, here the size of the expense does matter."
Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social WelfareCarcedo has explained that, while France, the country with the highest fertility rate in Europe, dedicates 3% of its GDP to families and children, Spain barely exceeds 1%.
"Science shows us that without acting on poverty from the public sphere, the chances that a child has of getting out of this vicious circle of poverty are practically non-existent."
The experience of poverty in childhood, poor diet, poor sport, emotional tensions or homelessness determine people's lives: their education, their present and future health, their ability to find a job or Development of other harmful habits.
"Breaking the circle of poverty is an obligation of all of us," insisted the minister. "Therefore, the decision of the President of the Government to create the High Commissioner for the fight against Child Poverty."
At this point, the minister has listed some of the initiatives that the Government has implemented, "still far from being enough", to improve the conditions of children and families. Among them, some with a strong redistributive impact such as the increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary; the Worthy Employment Plan; Minimum Vital Income, "on which work has already begun by improving benefits for dependent children"; or the VECA summer vacation program to ensure adequate food. In addition, the minister has cited public health measures to combat childhood obesity.
Law on comprehensive protection of children and adolescents against violence
During his speech, Carcedo has announced that the Law on Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents against Violence "is ready". "I hope that the new political forces that have entered Parliament have enough sensitivity to approve it as quickly as possible. We owe it to the children who are now and to those who once wanted to be but failed."
In Spain, in 2018, about 38,000 minors were victims of a crime or offense. Half of the victims of crimes against sexual freedom, almost 48%, are minors.
In addition, half of the reports of suspected abuse occur in the family and 4 out of 10 children perceive the school as an unsafe place. Only about one fifth of the abuses are reported. "Many children do not know how to denounce and others, assuming that what happens to them will also happen to others, they are not even aware of being attacked," said the minister.
The rule reforms 13 laws, explained María Luisa Carcedo. It aims to be integral, to protect minors in all their surroundings and against all forms of physical, mental or moral damage or abuse, whatever their form of commission, even through technology. In addition, it contains new crimes such as the dissemination of content on the Internet that incites minors to suicide, self-harm or those that promote eating disorders.
Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare"The rule gives us joint responsibility as citizens in establishing the duty to communicate situations of risk," said the minister. And it includes measures to detect the risk based on the behavior of the child or his specific situation. It aims to prevent and protect with actions in the health, education, social services or justice.
Responding to one of its main demands, the Law on the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents against Violence delays in a very important way the calculation of the prescription of sexual abuse, since the victims take years to be able to denounce the acts.
"It is a commitment to a social model that places children as subjects of rights, at the center of public action," said Carcedo.
Finally, the minister has referred to child immigration, "boys and girls who arrive in Spain without the company of their families." As of October 31, 2019, in Spain there were 12,786 children in this situation. "We are challenged to offer care and attention to those in our country."
"We firmly believe, because so many works have shown, that immigration enriches our society," the minister insisted. "We claim article 3 of the Convention that states that all measures affecting children must be based on the consideration of their best interests."
"When fathers and mothers, or other responsible persons, do not have the capacity to do so, it is up to the State to ensure the care and protection that are necessary for their well-being."
"This obligation acquired by Spain prevents the mass and indiscriminate expulsions of undocumented minors," said the minister. The Spanish Constitution establishes that valid international treaties, once officially published in Spain, will be part of the internal system.