EU conference: ‘Child and youth participation for Europe’
A Council of Europe & European Union-led conference is focusing on the right of children to be heard and have their opinions taken seriously.
Child and youth participation for Europe began in the Irish city of Cork on 20 May, under the Irish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE), and is due to end today (25 May).
It has been organised under the Joint European Union/Council of Europe Project, CP4Europe – Strengthening National Child Participation Frameworks and Action in Europe, which was launched in April last year.
It aims to make a major contribution to the promotion of children’s rights to participation at national and pan-European levels in accordance with Council of Europe standards and tools in this area.
Specifically, these include the CoE’s Child Participation Assessment Tool (CPAT) which has already been used in 10 countries and the Handbook on children’s participation for professionals working with and for children. The main expected impact of the project is that children across Europe find multiple and innovative opportunities to participate in decision-making processes through stronger child participation mechanisms.
‘Youth groups will share good practices’
The conference is being hosted by Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, who addressed the participants in the opening session.
Highlights of the conference included the first mid-term results of the work to promote child participation in the project partner countries (the Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Portugal and Slovenia).
Ten young delegates from these countries are taking part, while Irish youth groups and key actors, who have contributed to numerous initiatives in the field of child participation, will share good practices.
Special attention is being given to current challenges facing children and young people, in particular the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.