The prevention of and fight against poverty among children and young adults

In October 2017, the President of France announced the beginning of a national strategy to prevent and fight against poverty. In order to organize and lead this project, M. Olivier Noblecourt was named the interdepartmental delegate alongside Mme Agnès Buzyn, minister of Solidarity and of Health.

A large consultation scheme was organized in order to compile the contributions made by the civil society (particularly through an online platform), by local and national actors in the fight against poverty and by experts in the field as well. Six workgroups were created to submit proposals for action on the following themes:

  • Eradicate poverty among children
  • Prevent the vulnerability of young by fostering their integration
  • Develop a global support system and the tools to prevent poverty
  • Access to legal rights and services to fight against the absence of recourse
  • A strengthened support mechanism to fight against exclusion
  • Lead the fight against poverty from the local territories

At the end of this consultation, on march 15th 2018, a full report was handed to Mme Agnes Buzyn. A particular emphasis was brought on measures that targeted the younger generations.

The primary ambition of this report is to invest in a universally accessible daycare system for children under 6 years old. To achieve this, the report suggests implementing an educational program that continues from 0 to 6 based on learning the French language.

With regards to the integration of young adults, the suggestions made include the extension of the obligatory training period to 18 years old, and the removal of a certain number of obstacles to social integration such as inadequate housing, mobility difficulties and health concerns.

Why focus on children and young adults? Bringing this shift onto this group is essential because “today, this is the public that constitutes the most direct victim of poverty” (Noblecourt, Audition Assemblé Nationale 24/01/2018).

Social empowerment through employment is also one of the principal objectives mentioned in the report. Among the proposed strategies: accompany welfare beneficiaries in their search for employment.

Within this section of the report, there is a particular need to identify the young adults that are not accompanied by any support mechanism rendering them invisible to institutions and associations that could help. It was also suggested to bring a greater flexibility to the Garantie Jeunes program in order to have a stronger and wider impact. A major issue is to also avoid young adults suddenly exiting a program with no project to pursue.  The goal is to elevate the qualification level of these 800 000 NEET in France in order for them to gain their independence.

The report finally points out the importance of access to legal rights with a particular emphasis on children through strengthening the role of the PMI.

To find out about all the proposals made, read the full report here