International Day of Families: Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future


15 May 2016, Brussels – Families, in any shape of form provide the basis for most of our societies, making them an invaluable entity for policy makers to revolve their development strategies around. The Expert Group Meeting on ‘Family policies and 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda’ taking place on 12-13 May, will contribute to further analysis of the role of family policies in advancing broader development goals and a number of SDG targets. COFACE will be represented by its president Annemie Drieskens at the meeting with the presentation “The role of civil society organisations in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The meeting coincides with the annual observance of the International Day of Families, this year revolving around ‘Families, healthy lives and sustainable future’.

From a policy perspective, socio-economic policies supporting families have a potential to speed up the achievement of many targets focusing on individuals’ well-being. Among such policies are those supporting numerous functions that families already perform, such as caregiving for children, youth and older adults as well as those with diverse vulnerabilities, including disabilities. Empowering families to support their individual members’ health, education and overall well-being are bound to contribute to achieving of several SDG targets.

Policies and programmes aiming at increasing family financial recourses or improving caregiving behaviour help parents be better economic and emotional providers for their families. Work-family balance policies and programmes, such as parental leaves and flexible working arrangements promote children’s and parents’ well-being. Programmes promoting safe and stable family environment and positive parenting contribute to physical and emotional well-being of all family members as well.

In addition, with ageing population, better policies are needed to help families care for older adults or find alternative care arrangements in line with individual wishes and expectations. In this area, an extension of family leave to include care for other family members has a, so far largely untapped, potential to contribute to the well-being of older persons.

Another important area gradually gaining more attention from policy makers is supporting a greater role of men in families, in terms of sharing of household responsibilities and care obligations. Policies in this area have already been found to contribute to better health outcomes for children as well as gender equality gains.

The events around the International Day of Families will be live webcast on Thursday, 12 May. You can join the conversation on families, healthy lives and sustainable future by using the hashtags #GlobalGoals and #DayOfFamilies.

You can also follow @COFACE_EU and @undesadspd



For further information, please contact:
Ana Pérez, Communication Manager  +32 2 500 56 93   aperez@coface-eu.org

More information
2016 International Day of Families

COFACE’s European Reconciliation Package
COFACE’s SDGs and Gender Equality conference
COFACE Paper “The role of civil society organisations in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Note to the editor
COFACE is a network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families. COFACE’s areas of work include social/family policy, education, disability, gender equality, migration, consumer issues, and also protection of children online, privacy, data protection and reflections on technological developments and how they may impact families. More: www.coface-eu.org

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