We organize our society in such a way that a quarter of a million children live in poverty, that children in psychological distress, children who are suicidal are on waiting lists, that a large number of children are neglected, maltreated and abused, that there are children who live on the street….
How long do we want to continue like this, how loud must the call for change be, to know that we are not organizing something properly when it comes to the interests of children? Day in, day out, youth professionals do their very best for children in their care. But since the last century they have been confronted with – the same and always new – partitions, rules, guidelines and capacity shortages that hinder their care for children. And just as long as the government has been formulating policy intentions that are directed against these divisions, compartmentalization and fragmentation. And just as well, the government is implementing cutbacks. She fails to live up to her responsibility: to guarantee the Rights of the Child. Year after year, cabinet after cabinet, day after day!
Whether it concerns the corona measures or the children of the parents in the Supplement affair.
It is high time we got used to giving children a voice in decisions that affect them and consulting them in our political decision-making on all matters that affect children, up to the highest level. We want politicians to stop not hearing children’s voices, to stop turning away from children. We want children to be listened to and to help children to be heard. That too is future-proof democracy. Listening to 3.4 million fellow human beings.
Because experiencing that you matter as a child, that you are allowed to be there as a child, that you belong as a child, knowing that you are safe with those of whom you should have it as a child, this is the only way you can flourish as a child, so develop your resilience as a child for the rest of your life, and only then will you have a future. We want and we must make that possible. They are our children and they are the future.
That’s what I sign for!
The place where the cradle stood should not make a difference to a person’s chances in life, for health and for safety. Children must be involved in the way their future is shaped, involved in the policies that are pursued that directly or indirectly affect them. But with current issues that affect children deeply, in the present and in the future, such as those of the corona pandemic and those of the climate, they are not asked anything at all! Where adults have organized themselves according to their partial interests, children are overlooked. Children must not only have the right and the opportunity to participate, they also have the right to learn that they can and can exercise their rights.
Safe development of children is a fundamental social good that determines the quality and sustainability of society. Ensuring the quality and sustainability of society is a core task of politics. But the reality so far is different!
For years now, it appears that the development and safety of children are a worryingly large number of children. Many more than 100,000 children are victims of neglect, maltreatment and / or sexual abuse every year. And as long as we measure this, this number will not decrease. The effects of this on the life of the child – now and in the future – are often dramatic. Its consequences for society (including economic ones) are immense. This cannot be turned around without a strong, long-term central policy.
The Minister of Children contributes – through the creation and existence of the position – to the realization among politicians that caring for the promising, healthy and safe development of children is a core task of politics. Children are entitled to this, and this concern is of fundamental importance to society as a whole. From day 1, this Minister has formulated a policy that demonstrates respect for children by inviting them to think, talk and participate. Children will have to come and go in the department of the Minister of Children. It will set an example for the respect and care we owe to children.
This Minister has the ambition that every child:
- is given full opportunities for development, regardless of origin and background;
- can participate and speak up in all issues affecting children;
- is free from living in poverty;
- has a roof over your head;
- receive immediate help, support and protection in an unsafe parenting situation that effectively leads to restoration of safety;
- are educated and receive the support they need;
- find a place in education, childcare and sport where support and solidarity come together;
- the boundary to adulthood is crossed in line with one’s own development (not suddenly at the age of 18).
This Minister has a stature in the cabinet that no fellow minister will even consider violating a children’s right under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This Minister ensures that this treaty is observed every day and in this way invests in the future of our country. The future belongs to our children. The best way to prepare them for this is to involve them and give all children every possible opportunity.
That’s what I sign for!
Choosing for the future means choosing a cabinet with a Minister of Children!