ESAN au Conseil de l'Europe: 30ème journée mondiale pour l'éradication de la pauvreté

 

 

« Agir ensemble pour éradiquer la grande pauvreté en Europe »  

A l’occasion de la 30ème journée mondiale pour l’éradication  de la pauvreté qui   s'est tenue au Conseil de l’Europe  à Strasbourg le 17 octobre 2017 les organisateurs - dont ESAN-aisbl- ont choisi comme thème établir un bilan et envisager des perspectives. 

Le 17 octobre 2012  les Présidents du Comité des Ministres, de l’Assemblée parlementaire, du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux et de la Conférence des OING du Conseil de l’Europe ont signé une déclaration commune intitulée  « Agir ensemble pour éradiquer la grande pauvreté en Europe »  et qui commence ainsi: : «  Réitérant leur attachement à la dignité humaine et à la protection de tous les droits de l’homme, 

qui sont universels, indivisibles et interdépendants; 

Soulignant que la jouissance effective des droits de l’homme doit être garantie à tous sans aucune discrimination … » ( voir la suite sur le site www.coe.int/ong) 

 

Depuis 2012, ESAN  ( Réseau Européen d'Action Sociale ) est partie prenante de la  Journée internationale pour l'éradication de la pauvreté ( Chaque 17  Octobre).et a cosigné cette déclaration en tant que membre de la Conférence des OING. 

Depuis 2013 ESAN a  invité en plus de membres d’autres OING dont  ceux  d’ATD-Quart Monde plusieurs de ses membres venant de plusieurs pays d’Europe  ( Espagne, France, Italie, Portugal). Les personnes en situation de précarité, membres des associations  du réseau européen ESAN  ont  témoigné, décrit leur quotidien et comment, avec leur association, elles envisageaient les solutions pour s'en sortir .  

Ces paroles fortes sont consignées chaque année dans les Actes édités au nom de la Conférence de la Conférence des OING du Conseil de l’Europe. 

          

Ce 17 octobre 2017 , ESAN a invité la Vice-présidente de la Région de Valence Monica OLTRA  JARQUE ,  « VICEPRESIDENTA DEL CONSELL I CONSELLERA  I POLITIQUES INCLUSIVES » et Vice-présidente d’ELISAN . 

ELISAN (www elisan.eu) membre associé d’ESAN. 

 Elle a fait une intervention remarquable qui correspondait à la mise en pratique de la  déclaration du 12 octobre 2012 .

Voici son texte en anglais : 

 

“Good afternoon and thank you for giving me the opportunity to address a few words to all of you. 

Discussing poverty and how to fight it in a context such as the rich Europe should feel embarrassing, almost obscene. However, here we are in the 21st century thinking about how to fight the impoverishment of thousands of citizens in a context that should guarantee people sufficient levels of social welfare and security for human dignity, because there is enough wealth to do so. However, the current tendency in our environment, which is unfortunately tolerated and accepted, is that there is an increasing difference between those who have the most and those who have the least (the dispossessed of goods, services and resources). Wealth is increasingly accumulating in a few hands while many people have more and more difficulties to live in dignity. 

The economic crisis, or rather, its perverse management, has condemned millions of people to social exclusion, while banks were being rescued. It has created new vulnerable groups and has led traditionally vulnerable groups to extreme poverty and despair. 

The figures in my region speak for themselves: 

The indicators of poverty and social exclusion according to the AROPE rate in 2015, when we arrived at regional government show that: 

32.9% of the Valencian population was in a situation of social exclusion (3.3% higher than the global Spanish average). 

25.3% are in economic poverty. 318,000 people are living on less than 332€ per consumption unit. 

14% were late in paying their mortgage or rent. 

41% cannot afford unforeseen expenses.           16.3% cannot keep a suitable temperature at home in winter. 

These figures are hardly consistent with the Declaration of Philadelphia, adopted on the 10th of May 1944, stating that: “All human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity.” 

We may even say that the lack of opportunities, rights or well-being could be considered an inhumane and degrading treatment, especially when it occurs in a context of sufficient but unfairly distributed resources. 

The management of the crisis has also led to the creation of a collective imagination according to which rights depend on what each person can afford; in other words, their purchasing power.  

If you can afford it, you will have the right. Otherwise, you will not have it. This message has caught on to the point of becoming hegemonic, making rights meaningless, since a right that exists only if you can afford it is not a right, but a simple commodity or consumer good; and if the worst comes to the worst, a privilege. 

The first victim of this induced thinking is social rights. Still in our political context it would be difficult to argue that children receive no schooling or patients have no access to a hospital. However, those social rights that are not consolidated as a pillar within the Welfare State (in fact, the EU is still at this stage trying to build its "Social Pillar", without much enthusiasm though) are given up to the dreaded concept of "budgetary stability". 

It will be as simple as all States signing and ratifying the Revised European Social Charter and that the European Institutions put all the efforts, especially economical, in its implementation.  

I have always wondered why it is more important to fight physical illness versus social illness, while both lead to unhappiness. However, let no one be deceived.  

Giving up social rights will mean giving up educational and health rights too in the medium term, because this is an insatiable demand of those who have decided to go for a world based on privileges instead of rights. In other words, giving up a right will inexorably involve giving up subsequent rights in an endless cruel cycle. 

One of the groups emerging as victims resulting from the management of the financial and subsequently economic crisis is the group made up of adolescents and young people. While the loss in purchasing power in our country in general has been 18.6% since 2008, this percentage is as high as 28% for young people.  

The unemployment rate for young people doubles the average unemployment rate. While a few decades ago poverty used to hit old age pensioners and retired people, it now has a huge impact on young people; people who have been taken the chance to build their own life project, their present and their future, jeopardizing the future of society as a whole, because no society can survive if their children are left behind.  

This phenomenon coexists with another disturbing one: the growing feminization of poverty, which, as a result, affects children. Poverty, or rather impoverishment, has a woman’s face and a child’s face. 

However, this diagnosis should not make us lose hope. And especially, it should not obscure our ability to act, from local and regional governments, in order to reverse this situation. Small, irreversible changes can represent a big revolution. And that is what we are doing. 

These small changes are the translation of the first element and the most important part of the government agreement in my region: to rescue people. This means placing people at the heart of government’s action for them to develop their life project, going from an assistancial system to a universal welfare one. In fact, my government’s first legal measure in this direction was restoring universal health care, which had been suppressed by the previous administration. 

This is declaration of intent from a government arising from the willingness to change, which took place in Spain in 2015 and led to the arrival of political forces who have called into question the neoliberal doctrine according to which banks are rescued and people are left behind. 

The translation of these ideas into political action has implied that during our two years in government, in my region, we have carried out a series of projects which will doubtless have an impact on the future. Let me give you some examples: 

1. ‘Valencian Income for Social Inclusion Law’ (currently under parliamentary process): 

This act has a main goal: to make a person’s or a family’s decent income into a subjective right which does not depend on the “budgetary stability”. In other words, being a citizen should give the right to having incomes that allow for social inclusion.  

We would like the Valencian Income for Social Inclusion to be the tool to fight impoverishment, so that besides ensuring stable incomes for people and families in need, we also put an end to the stigmatization of poverty. By ‘stigmatization of poverty’ I mean that we live in a society that everyday reminds needy people that they are in need, and that reminder almost means a burden of blame for their own fate.  

 

Here is an example: in prison there still exist those old, huge and noisy iron bolts to lock the cells at night. When they get locked, they make an awful sound. There are modern and quiet bolts that would perfectly do the job, but the purpose is not to close the door. The purpose is to remind prisoners that they are deprived of freedom and to do it each time the door is locked.         In the same way, when we force a person to ask for subsidies, to energetic poverty, to emergencies, to go searching an NGO, to go to social services in an apparently endless torment, what we are doing is reminding them every day that they are poor. And, what is worst, we inject them the idea that they are to blame for their situation. It is not a system’s flaw, it is the person’s.  

Well, that is what we want to put an end to… to guilt, hopelessness, and this vicious circle. We want to stabilize people’s situations economically in order for them to have time and courage to build their independent life project; a life project that goes hand in hand with personalized plans to achieve the goal, allowing them to have the power in their social inclusion process.  

The project not only takes into account the lack of structural incomes but also the phenomenon of poor workers who are assigned a salary supplement, as well as the non-contributory pensions supplement (an 80% of women who are deprived from a contributory pension because they were not able to contribute enough). 

Regarding age limitations, the requirement of being 25 in order to access this income has been removed, so that young people in concrete situations can have access to this complement. Also for the first time, the number of children in a family has been taken into account when it comes to estimate the amount, which seems very logical but nevertheless had not been a reality yet. 

2. ‘Valencian Plan for Social Inclusion and Cohesion’. This plan territorializes the diagnostic of the poverty and analyses how it concentrates and how it distributes. This plan has two fundamental and transverse central concepts: to fight against the feminization of the poverty and against the inheritance of the poverty. 80% of young girls and boys who are poor today will be poor also as adults. Can you imagine this percentage of inheritance in a congenital disease? The originating gene would probably have been already neutralized. Why don’t we do that with social transmission? 

 

The Plan additionally considers four aims: 

- The right to social-occupational integration. 

- The guarantee of benefits. 

- The guarantee of protection of rights and the access to public services, meaning social services as well as education, health, housing, culture and society of information. 

- The guarantee of territorial equity and social cohesion. 

The idea is to favour a stage of equality of opportunities regardless of people’s origin, their personal circumstances or their residence. 

3. Social Function of the House Law. Actually this was the first act that our government has put in place due to the dramatic situation of thousands of families losing their homes. It considers housing as a subjective right, and not as a property for investment or speculation. The Act contemplates the situation of vulnerability of the different communities. It establishes taxes to the empty houses depending on the number of houses that a person or society owns. It establishes the obligation to provide a house to the people who need it. In conclusion, it places the right to a home before the speculation and enrichment at the expense of a fundamental right. 

Currently, this Act has been questioned by the Government of Spain, who has issued an appeal to the Constitutional Court. 

4. A new model of social services. In our region, we have gone for reinforcing the basic social services, that is to say the municipal social services. In two years, we have multiplied by four the staff of these services and therefore guaranteed reasonable ratios (we have gone from 13,000 inhabitants by professional to 3,000 inhabitants by professional). We have also guaranteed multidisciplinary teams. With this, we reinforce neighbourhood services and primary social-care attention. 

 

5. Other measures that will have an important impact are, for example, the project called “Xarxa Llibres”, a book bank that guarantees school textbooks to all girls and boys in the public system, so that the families with fewer resources do not have disadvantage nor a sense of anguish about his situation. Another measure is the Project of Integral Youth Policies, which enables young people to participate in the public decisions in the same percentage that the administration and recognises the educational leisure as a right of the young people. 

As a result of these and other measures, the responses are beginning to offer encouraging data in my region. In two years, the poverty rate has decreased four points, in front of the decline of 1.3 in the rest of Spain. Besides, the risk of poverty in the Valencian Community has been reduced in a 6.9 % whereas in the rest of Spain it has grown a 0.5 % from 2014. 

Similarly, also from 2014, the situations of the severe absence of material, that suppose not being able to afford a meal of meat, chicken or fish at least once every second day, have been reduced by 34 % in front of the 18 % in the rest of the State. Another data that supports the efficiency of the policies that we are carrying out to improve people’s life is that the tax of homes, where the people in working age that work are less than 20 %, has been reduced in 3.5 % during the last year, whereas in the rest of the State there was a decline of 2.2 %. 

There is still much to be done, but it is a path that we have already begun to walk and that it is worth in order to achieve a society where all the places are of all: an inclusive society. I say among all of us because these changes would not have been possible without the participation of the social entities and NGOs, to which we have listened and whose ideas and proposals have taken part in this project. 

Finally, and I shall conclude here, I want to thank you for the opportunity that you have offered me to explain that there is another way to govern, that people should be the centre of our policies if we want to build a better and kinder world.  

 

 

Intervention de Monica Jarque le 17 octobre 2017 au Conseil de l’Europe 

Bonjour et merci de m'avoir donné l'occasion de vous adresser quelques mots. 
 
Discuter de la pauvreté et des façons de la combattredans le contexte de l'Europe riche, devrait être pour le faire. Cependant, la tendance actuelle, malheureusement tolérée et acceptée, est qu'il y a une différence croissante entre ceux qui ont le plus et ceux qui en ont (biens, services, ressources). La richesse s'accumule de plus en plus dans les mains de banques dans des conditions de liberté et de dignité, de sécurité économique et d'égalité des chances. " 
 
Nous pouvons même dire que le manque d'opportunités, de droits ou de bien-être pourrait être considéré comme un traitement inhumain et dégradant, surtout lorsqu'il se produit dans un contexte de ressources suffisantes mais injustement réparties. 
 
La gestion de la crise a également conduit à la création d'une imagination collective selon laquelle les droits dépendent de ce que chacun peut se permettre; en d'autres termes, leur pouvoir d'achat. 
 
Si vous pouvez vous le permettre, vous aurez le droit. Sinon, vous mais un bien simple ou un bien de consommation; et si le pire vient au pire, un privilège. 
 
Les premières victimes sont les droits sociaux. Toujours dans notre contexte politique, il serait difficile d'affirmer que les enfants ne sont pas scolarisés ou que les patients n'ont pas accès  «pilier social», sans trop d'enthousiasme) par peur d' abandonner le concept redouté de « stabilité budgétaire ". 
 
Il it particulièr économiques, dans sa mise en œuvre. 

Je me suis toujours demandée pourquoi il est plus important de combattre la maladie physique que la maladie sociale, alors que les deux mènent tromp. 
 
Abandonner les droits sociaux signifie également abandonner les droits à l'éducation et à la santé à moyen terme, dans un monde fondé sur des privilèges plutôt que de chômage moyen. Alors qu'il y a quelques décennies, la pauvreté frappait les retraités et les retraitées, elle a aujourd'hui un impact énorme sur les un autre faire perdre espoir. Et surtout, cela ne doit pas occulter notre capacité d'agir en direction des gouvernements locaux et régionaux pour inverser cette situation. De petits changements irréversibles peuvent représenter une grande révolution. Et c'est ce que nous faisons. 
 
Ces petits changements sont la traduction du premier élément et de la partie la plus importante de l'accord gouvernemental dans ma région: 

 doute impact sur l'avenir. Laissez-moi vous donner quelques de la pauvreté. Parc'est qu'responsable de sa situation. Comme si ce n'était pas un défaut du système, mais la faute de la personne elle-même. 
 
Eh bien, c'est ce que nous : mettre fin à la culpabilité, au désespoir et à indépendan; un projet de vie qui va de pair avec des plans personnalisés pour atteindre l'objectif, leur permettant d'avoir le pouvoir dans leur processus d'inclusion sociale. 
 
Le projet prend en compte non seulement le manque de revenus structurels mais aussi le phénomène des travailleurs pauvres auxquels un supplément de salaire est attribué, ainsi que le complément de pension non contributif (80% des femmes qui sont privées d'une pension contributive parce qu'elles n'étaient pas en mesure de contribuer assez). 
 
En ce qui concerne les limitations d'âge, l'exigence d'avoir 25 ans pour avoir accès à ce revenu a été supprimée, de sorte que les jeunes dans des situations concrètes peuvent avoir accès il se distribue. Ce plan a deux concepts fondamentaux transversaux: lutter contre la féminisation de la pauvreté et contre l'hérédité de la pauvreté. 80% des jeunes filles et garçons qui sont pauvres aujourd'hui seront pauvres congénitale? Le gène d'origine aurait probablement déjà été neutralisé. Pourquoi ne faisons-nous pas cela avec la transmission sociale? 
 
Le plan considère en outre quatre objectifs: 
- Le droit à l'intégration socio-professionnelle. 
- La garantie des prestations. 
- La garantie de la protection des droits et l'accès aux services publics, c'est-à-dire les services sociaux ainsi que l'éducation, la santé, le logement, la culture et la société de l'information. 
- La garantie de l'équité territoriale et de la cohésion sociale. 
 
L'idée est de favoriser l'égalité des chances, indépendamment de l'origine des personnes, de leur situation personnelle ou de leur lieu de résidence. 
 
3. Fonction sociale de la loi des une en ont besoin. En conclusion, elle place le droit fondamental à une maison avant la spéculation et l'enrichissement. 
 
Actuellement, cette loi a été contestée par le gouvernement espagnol qui a interjeté appel auprès de la Cour constitutionnelle. 
 
4. Un nouveau modèle municipaux.  

En deux ans, nous avons multiplié par quatre le personnel de ces services et donc garanti des ratios raisonnables (nous sommes passés de 13 000 habitants  Llibres", une banque de livres qui garantit les manuels scolaires à toutes les filles et tous les garçons du système public, de sorte que les familles désavantagées aient moins d'angoisse à une  <span class="ContextualSpellingAndGrammarError SCXW265271073" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; background-repeat: repeat-x; background-position: left bottom; background-image: url(" data:image="" gif;base64,r0lgodlhbqaeapedaabvzdnvzdnv="" waaach5bauaaamalaaaaaafaaqaaaiinc2qchykqgeaow="=&quot;);" border-bottom:="" 1px="" solid="" transparent;="" background-color:="" inherit;"="">inclusive. Je dis entre nous tous que ces changements n'auraient pas été possibles sans la participation des entités sociales et des ONG dont que nous avons écouté et dont les idées et les propositions ont pris part à ce projet 

Enfin, et je conclurai ici, je tiens à vous remercier pour l'occasion que vous m'avez offerte d'expliquer qu'il y a une autre façon de gouverner, que les gens devraient être le centre de nos politiques si nous voulons construire un monde meilleur et plus humain. 


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