Children take charge for European gathering on child rights

Children will be taking centre stage at a major European annual event aimed at promoting and protecting their rights.

The European Commission’s (EC) Forum on the Rights of the Child has become an important platform for developing policies on child rights across the European Union and beyond.

Now in its 13th year, the EC is ensuring that this year’s event – being held ‘digitally’ from 29 September to 1 October – will see children and young people being actively involved both as participants and contributors.

With high-level delegates representing international bodies, governments and other important child-rights based organisations, it will be an opportunity for young people to speak out about their concerns, thoughts, fears and hopes for the future.

‘Important platform for developing policies…’

One organisation taking a leading role this year is child-rights network Eurochild. It will have representation from its own Children’s Council on both the event’s opening panel, alongside Didier Reynders the European Commissioner for justice, and another high-level panel, with Dubravka Šuica, vice president for the EC on democracy and demography.

In 2019, Petra, the Croatian representative of the Eurochild Children’s Council joined other young people at the 12th European Forum on the Rights of the Child in Brussels.

The Eurochild Children’s Council will also organise a child-led workshop and give concluding remarks on the final day of the forum. It will be supporting the participation of 50 children from its network, ensuring the host and participants are well prepared to ensure lively debate in a safe space.

Eurochild says that the council has, in recent months, ‘demonstrated an incredible ability to learn, improvise and adapt to the new circumstances’. The organisation, it says, ‘has strived to rapidly expand its capacity and competencies in order to facilitate meaningful child participation online.

‘Meaningful child participation online…’

“We are confident that the forum will be an important platform for children to centre themselves in the discussion on children’s rights, while exhibiting the importance and value of child participation. This is a vital step towards establishing sustainable structures for meaningful child participation at European level,” it adds.

Organised by the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, the European Forum on the rights of the child is an annual conference that provides a platform for dialogue between EU institutions and other stakeholders on the rights of the child.

Click here for more about the event.

Author: Simon Weedy

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