Carer organisations in several European countries have developed campaigns to take carer issues directly into politics. We are pleased to share two examples in this newsletter – from Scotland and from Germany.
“When carers first started campaigning for better rights and support, we used to ask political parties at election time: ‘What are you planning to do for carers?’ There was little they could offer,” explains Sebastian Fischer who works for carers ion Scotland and Germany. “So we learned to be smarter and share not the problems but the solutions. Today, we draw up ‘Carer Manifestos’ long before the elections, so that political parties can draw on our proposals in good time before they finalise their election manifestos.”
Attached is the first Positionspapier (Carers Manifesto) drawn up in Germany, for this year’s ‘Bundestagswahl on 26 September. Scotland’s Manifesto for Unpaid Carers and Young Carers for the election on 6 May 2021 has a much longer tradition which contributed to specific carer legislation (Carers (Scotland) Act 2016), implemented from 2018.
“Our manifestos have a lot in common and could be reproduced in all other European countries,” says Sebastian. “They are rights-based, advocating that carers must be equal partners in care, represented in all care planning. They are support-focused, arguing that investment in preventive supports, employment support, breaks from caring and financial and social wellbeing are investments with big returns as they build carer resilience and secure long term caring relationships where carers enjoy a healthy work-life-care balance.”