Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection– KOMF, which represents 27 non-governmental organizations in the field of child rights protection, led by the mission for the protection of children’s rights, requires from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, that on the occasion of revising or reforming social policies for poverty reduction, namely reforming the social assistance scheme, to take into account the findings and proposals as follows.

KOMF states that:

  • Criterion (i) in Category II, Article 4, where it is determined that the family should have at least one child under the age of five, is discriminatory and absolutely unacceptable by all actors involved in the scheme but also by the beneficiaries themselves. According to this criterion, families in poverty who do not have children under the age of 5 fall into a disadvantaged position. This criterion excludes families who received social assistance until the child has reached the age of five, exactly when the child has to start education and consequently the family will have even bigger expenses.
  • The social assistance scheme is not well adapted to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in general and especially child poverty;
  • The monthly amount of social assistance is too small to cope the basic living conditions for a family

Therefore, protecting the best interest of children, KOMF proposes:

  • Abolish the requirement (i) for Category II, Article 4, which states that the family should have at least one child under the age of 5, which was also required by supplementing the amendment of the law of social assistance scheme from 2012, but which has not been implemented so far;
  • Increase the monthly amount of social assistance to cope the basic living conditions for a family;

Poverty has a negative impact on children’s physical, psychological and social development. Children’s poverty is considered as one of the potential factors for the development of negative phenomena such as: abandonment of school, exploitation, trafficking, begging, child labour, delinquency, etc. Reforming the social assistance scheme based on the best interests of children will not only guarantee the child right to a dignified life with social welfare, but will also affect the reduction of many of the negative phenomena that may come as a result of poverty.