Eurochild flagship gathering puts youngsters in the spotlight
Showcasing excellent practice of child-led participation, children & young people were the themes of the day, as Eurochild held its General Assembly and Members Day.
This annual gathering is the organisation’s flagship event, and this year – for the first time – it extended a warm welcome to children from outside Eurochild’s own Children’s Council, whose tireless work for children’s rights was again the centre of attention.
A group of 12 children and young people make up the council, working actively with the organisation’s leadership to create meaningful child participation opportunities in advocacy, events and general governance. This year, some nine ‘guest’ young people from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Ireland also took part in several of the day’s sessions where they shared their experiences of how young people have largely been left alone to adapt to the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
Eurochild say the children participated ‘actively and equally in key sessions where they shared their challenges as advocates themselves. Notably, they questioned the discrepancy of different minimum age requirements for voting in national and European elections’.
Child participation during the pandemic
The organisation added that it has ‘committed to engage children’s views not only in its advocacy but also in its governance’. Before the elections took place for its management board, children and young people came up with a series of challenging questions for the board to reflect on and respond to.
The Children’s Council also hosted a session on ‘Life after COVID’, enabling the young people to show their leadership in hosting such a discussion. They tackled key issues like what they see as the scarce attention given to mental health, the need to respect young people’s free time, and the limits/advantages of online participation.
A Eurochild Children’s Council (ECC) representative introduced the ECC Activity Report 2020, complementing the annual report of Eurochild. Through the video, the Eurochild Children’s Council members reflected on the most memorable activities they had been involved in, and their personal reflections on how the ECC has developed and grown as an entity. Eurochild adopted its latest child participation strategy
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