1d: Championing children’s rights in Europe – is the EU a help or a hindrance ?

The seminar will give participants an understanding of EU policy, legislation and funding and how it can support, or indeed obstruct, efforts to promote the full realization of children’s rights.

From the perspective of children affected by migration, the seminar will touch upon key tensions in the area of EU migration and asylum policy and efforts taken to protect and promote the best interests of children.  Policies on child protection, in particular learning lessons from the deinstitutionalization agenda across Europe, will be explored to understand how and where the EU can play a positive role in supporting change. Finally we will explore the paradigm of investing in children and whether the 2013 EC Recommendation can guide member states to invest in quality services that promote the integration and inclusion of migrant children.

The discussions will focus on the role that Sweden can and should be playing in the EU.  We will explore the role of civil society networks and how to bring the voices of children and young people affected by migration themselves into the debate.

The UNCRC provides an overall frame for the seminar.  Positive examples of rights-based interventions will be presented, to stimulate debate about how to generate the political will to invest in the necessary services and protection mechanisms.

Eurochild is a membership network. We influence policies, build internal capacities, facilitate mutual learning and exchange practice and research. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the foundation of all our work.  Our advocacy priorities are child poverty, deinstitutionalization and better public spending.  In 2017 we will focus on bringing the perspective of migrant and refugee children into each of these three policy agendas.  We have a strong commitment to meaningful participation of children and are currently building our own internal child participation strategy.

Seminar lead: Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild