Minister Linas Kukuraitis: “Childcare and family care in the present ensures public well-being in the future”

Date

2018 01 25

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At a high-level conference taking place these days in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Minister of Social Security and Labour Linas Kukuraitis, together with employment, health and education ministers of states united by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), international experts, non-governmental organisations, mass media, public representatives, is discussing ways of assuring equality in all stages of life and ways of dealing with issues of ageing population and increasing inequality.  

As experts note, inequality affecting the whole life of a person stems from the early childhood, since the early health, education and socio-economic conditions determine the direction of one’s life and help foresee future well-being. Healthy children growing in a safe environment which encourages their development show better school results, achieve more, and have higher chances of future success on the labour market. Analogically, people with good and stable income guarantee themselves better financial conditions in old age. Whereas people with low income and occupational instability face the risk of unemployment and poverty, which is transferred to future generations.

During the session dealing with childhood issues, Linas Kukuraitis agreed with the experts and emphasised that “this conference is very important for Lithuania since older persons as well as children are the two most vulnerable groups in Lithuania, and, as surveys show, the vulnerability in the old age stems from the vulnerability in the early childhood. The issue of child poverty should be addressed with “the both hands”, i.e. reduction of the level of poverty of children and families currently facing it and investment into enhancement of parents and children’s abilities in order to avoid poverty in the future. These objectives require complex measures – from provision of possibilities that would enable people to increase their income, reconcile work and family commitments, and assurance of equal opportunities for men and women to support and services to children and families, including child’s money to all children of Lithuania, complex services to families, child day centres and other measures”. Participants of the conference showed interest in Lithuania’s initiative promoting solidarity of generations by engaging grandparents into childcare and encouraging family-friendly environment through development of childcare services at workplace.

The conference “Policies for Equal Ageing: A Life-Course Approach” jointly organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Government of Slovenia is a part of the OECD Inclusive Growth Initiative aimed at providing possibilities for discussing and analysing two global problems –  ageing population and increasing inequality.