Child Benefits in Central and Eastern Europe - A comparative review

The purpose of this report is to review the social protection policy for children in Central and Eastern European countries. In particular, the analysis of this report focuses on cash child benefits (family allowances) and their impact on child poverty.

There is a growing international consensus about the importance of social protection for children. Every child has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the right to benefit from social security including social insurance, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to education. The needs and the well-being of children should be given greater priority in a broad range of policies, in particular through child-sensitive social protection.

The purpose of this report is to review the social protection policy for children in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. In particular, the analysis of this report focuses on cash child benefits (family allowances) and their impact on child poverty.

This report is organized as follows: Section 1 provides a general review of child benefit policies. This section is a ground-clearing exercise based largely on existing sources. Section 2 reviews the evidence on child benefits in CEE countries, including both EU countries and non-EU countries. Section 3 concludes and makes suggestions for further work. Annex summarizes main features of child benefits in major European countries.