Caritas is calling for an end to poverty in Europe with the launch of its Zero Poverty Campaign.
“Poverty is a scandal. What else can it be when just over 40 years after man first walked on the moon, there are still humans unable to provide for their most basic needs, like food, shelter, warmth,” said Caritas Europa President Fr Erny Gillen.
Zero Poverty campaign coincides with the European Year 2010 for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Caritas has launched a new paper “Poverty Among Us” that outlines steps to a poverty free Europe.
The paper calls for the strengthening of the labour market, the welfare state, and the family. “If the fight against poverty and social exclusion is to be sustained, more emphasis must be placed on what policies can do to prevent the spiral of poverty from taking place, particularly in the early stages of an individual’s life,” says the report.
Caritas Europa has launched a “Petition against Poverty” that calls of European governments to take four achievable steps.
- End child poverty by guaranteeing allowances for every child in Europe, regardless of the status of their parents,
- Secure a minimum standard of social security for all;
- Guarantee universal healthcare and strengthen the welfare state;
- Take active steps to ensure decent jobs with decent wages.
The target for the petition is to reach one million signatures of citizens who are nationals of a significant number of member states. This would be a requirement for inviting the Commission to submit appropriate legislative proposals on the basis of the European citizen’s initiative, one of the major innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Poverty is everybody’s concern. The Zero Poverty campaign proposes concrete actions against poverty that can be accomplished in our everyday life. Act now for a better future!