The Catalan Ombudsman urges the Catalan Government to prioritize policies aimed at vulnerable children


(c) Jordi Soteras

The Catalan Ombudsman and the Deputy for the defence of children's rights have delivered to the President of the Parliament of Catalonia the Report on the Rights of the Child 2012. This report complies with the article 29.2 of the Law on the rights and opportunities in childhood and adolescence.

  • It shows that the government has not preserved child policies and benefits, especially those aimed at children in a vulnerable situation.
  • It shows that the suspension of some benefits and services, the general cuts in certain benefits and the increase of the fees to access certain services (school bus or kindergarten) have worsened the vulnerability of children living in impoverished environments.
  • It suggests that spending is prioritized on policies aimed at vulnerable children. 
  • It suggests that the lack of financial resources for families with children be a main criterion for the access to emergency assistance and social services.
  • It warns of the risk to devalue the quality of the system of juvenile justice and the success of individual rehabilitation programs.

The report highlights situations of violation of children's rights in Catalonia, particularly worsened by the economic insecurity of families because of the crisis and the austerity policies of the government, which have meant not only cuts in benefits and services to address these situations, but a set-back in some cases.

These shortcomings have affected important rights such as the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to education, the right to leisure, in addition to worsen child poverty.

The previous report on children's rights (2011) recommended that the government strengthen its efforts to combat situations that, because of the economic vulnerability of families, affect children's rights. However, this report shows that most of these recommendations have not been fulfilled by the government.