Discover more from The Integrity Talks | Dina-Perla Portnaar
Dutch government ignores children
In a study released recently, the Children's Ombudsman urged the Dutch government to do a better job of considering how children are affected when parents have a disagreement with a governmental office and their requirements. At least 100,000 children in the Netherlands are potentially affected by the problem.
The advocate's office claimed that in recent years, little to no attention—if any—has been paid to the effects that such conflicts between citizens and the government have on children, notably the scandal involving the tax office's daycare subsidies. By itself, that problem affects about 70,000 kids. Other urgent issues include the delays in resolving Limburg flood damage, farmers affected by environmental government actions, and locals affected by pollution in the Tata Steel area.
Children "do experience the struggle, the frustration, and the sadness," the Children's Ombudsman stated in the report, and this needs to change. Children whose parents had disagreements with the government listened to the ombudsman's speech. These chats demonstrated that these kids worry a lot and feel a lot of stress and uncertainty on a daily basis "because of the struggle and the powerlessness of their parents."
The survey also made note of how affected parents spend less time with their kids, which has an effect on the latter's functioning and general well-being. The ombudsman said that "many children are less able to concentrate at school." Furthermore, the kids lack trust in the government, much like their parents do.
The current Children's Ombudsman, Margrite Kalverboer, stated that "children adopt their parents' negative views." We must stop people from losing faith in democracy and the rule of law and becoming cynical.
The government must give children "a full place in its policy and act from a children's rights perspective," the ombudsman stated, in order to reduce these negative impacts. According to her, "confidence seems to be restored when the conflict is resolved properly."
Government communication must be honest and transparent. The Kalverboer continued, "For instance, if the government agency admits to having made a mistake or if the government agency speaks with children themselves."
Children may help in many different ways, such as by setting up contact with other sufferers or by including children's rights education into civic teachings; therefore, municipalities and schools have a crucial role to play in assisting and educating them. According to Kalverboer, this helps ensure that youngsters are more aware of their rights, and what they can do to protect those rights.
Source: NL Times.