Eurochild: Investing in children is ‘extremely valuable’

The global pandemic has show just how ‘extremely valuable’ it is to invest in children, says campaigning organisation Eurochild.

That was one of the stand-out conclusions of this year’s general assembly, held online because of the pandemic, which brought together some 200 child rights professionals to discuss children’s rights in the context of this year’s unprecedented events.

They came together to share the challenges faced in continuing to run their child-focused programmes and activities during the lockdowns, discuss opportunities for further work, and assess the potential of European Union developments on children’s lives.

Involving children in consultations

Chaired by Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, president of Eurochild, the event also encompassed a series of webinars to discuss the European Child Guarantee, which will aim to ensure equal opportunities for children. Eurochild members had the opportunity to speak with EU decision-makers and policy officials about what are significant initiatives directly impacting children’s rights and child poverty.

Nicolas Schmidt, European Commissioner, said he recognised that ‘the COVID-19 crisis has revealed and deepened existing inequalities and has shown that investing in children is extremely valuable’. Meanwhile, Dubravka Suica, vice-president of the European Commission, shared her vision for the forthcoming EU strategy on the rights of the child, and highlighted the importance of involving children themselves in the consultation process.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has not left children unharmed. We need to include them in our recovery efforts,” she said via Twitter.

‘We need to include them in our recovery efforts’

A raft of new members was also welcomed to the Eurochild fold, including The Children’s Human Rights Centre Albania –CRCA (Albania); Alliance for the Rights of the Child – ADP (Czech Republic); FICE Croatia; Kindermitte association for social enterpreneurship and quality in early education – KINDERMITTE (Germany); Childproof NGO – CIPOF (Kosovo); Council of Institutionalised Youth – CTI (Romania) and Charity Funds EDUKIDS (Romania).

The post-assembly webinars also addressed the advocacy and organisational needs and demands of the children’s rights sector. From preparing for the future EU child rights strategy and the European Child Guarantee to discussing the Childonomics methodology and early childhood development, the topics covered an array of upcoming areas for progressing children’s rights. The Eurochild Children’s Council also hosted its own webinar on the topic of education.

Eurochild members can watch the recordings of the webinars and download presentations and others resources in the members room. You can also see the visual notes created by Drawnalism, highlighting key discussions from three of these webinars on future-proofing child rights advocacythe EU child rights strategy and the European Child Guarantee here.

Click here for the Annual Report for 2019 launched at the General Assembly for stories and highlights of Eurochild’s work and accomplishments.

Author: Simon Weedy

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