Patron

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

President of the Republic of Croatia

Speakers

Petra

Children Mayor of the City of Opatija, Croatia

Ivo Dujmić

Mayor of the City of Opatija, Croatia

Genevieve Avenard

Children’s Ombudsperson, France and Chair of European Network of Ombudspersons for Children

Fahima, Youth Advocate

Youth Kids Peace Prize Nominee 2017, Netherlands

More coming soon!

Moderator

Dr. Cath Larkins

Co-Director, Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation, University of Central Lancashire, UK

Building a better Europe with children: All aboard!

“We count on you; do you count on us?”

The Eurochild Conference in Opatija will bring positive examples of how public decision-makers at local, national and European levels are respecting the right of children to participate in decisions affecting them.

The conference will host an estimated 300 participants including public sector officials, politicians, children’s rights professionals as well as children themselves. By involving under 18 years-olds in the planning, preparation and delivery of the conference, the conference itself will be an example of participation in action.

The European Pillar of Social Rights, which was endorsed by all EU leaders in late 2017, urges all governments to have national strategies for children’s participation. Similarly, the Council of Europe has also recognised the value of child participation which is one of the five strands of its current Strategy for the Rights of the Child.

This conference will demonstrate why involvement of children in decision-making processes brings positive outcomes, both for the children and young people involved, for communities and for society at large, for example by promoting social inclusion and community engagement. Recommendations for policy makers and practitioners on why and how to strengthen child participation in public decision-making will be one of the key outcomes of this conference.

Registration for the conference will commence in May 2018.

Programme outline

During the conference, children and adults will work together with high-level speakers on the topic of child participation in decision making. Children have been a part of the planning of the Conference and will be taking on different roles during the Conference; as active participants and co-facilitators. Below you find the outline for the programme of the conference. A more detailed agenda is currently being developed by the organisers and the Young Advisory Group. 

Agenda

29 October 2018

Venue: Gervais Centre, Nikole Tesle 5, Opatija

12:00-15:00     Registration

15:00-18:00     Opening Session

Welcome speeches by hosts will be followed by inspirational speakers, including children; followed by interaction among participants facilitated by the Moderator and the Youth Advisory Group.

18:00-18:30         Meeting of Home Groups

Participants will join small groups to share feedback from the day and interact more closely with other participants.

18:30-21:30     Welcome reception and dinner 

Prepare to enjoy local specialties and food for thought to prepare you for the second day!

30 October 2018

Venue: Amadria Park Hotel and Conference Centre, Opatija

08:00-13:00     Study Visits

A chance to meet local professionals, discover local services and approaches and connect the dots between policy and practice! Over 10 study visits are planned, including meeting the Children’s Council of Opatija to a walking tour of a child-friendly city.

13:00-14:30     Lunch

14:30-16:00     Workshops - Session I

Learn from good practices of children’s participation in public decision-makers at local, national and European levels. These interactive workshops will also emphasise the inclusion of vulnerable children. Workshops will be co-facilitated with children and offer concrete recommendations for policy makers and practitioners. (Workshops in English only)

16:00-16:30     Coffee Break

16:30-18:00     Workshops - Session II

18:00-18:30     Meeting of Home Groups

Participants will join small groups to share feedback from the day and interact more closely with other participants.

19:00-21:30     Dinner with folk music and entertainment

31 October 2018

Venue: Amadria Park Hotel and Conference Centre, Opatija

09:00-10:45     Human Library 

Become a ‘book’ (speaker) and share your story or experience. The ‘readers’ (small group of participants) will listen, question and enter into a dialogue. The Human Library concept will allow participants to discuss the specific themes raised on previous days of the conference and to enter into small group discussions connected to individual experiences and ideas.

10:45-11:30     Coffee Break & Meeting of Home Groups

Participants will join small groups to share feedback from the day and interact more closely with other participants.

11:30-13:00     Closing Session 

High-level decision-makers take centre stage as they respond to the ideas and questions raised in the previous days. The Youth Advisory Group will share its own key messages, capturing the discussions from the previous days. Participants will be able to create connections between practice and policy and end their trip with plenty of ideas for action!

About the organiser and hosts

Eurochild advocates for children’s rights and well-being to be at the heart of policymaking. We are a network of organisations working with and for children throughout Europe, striving for a society that respects the rights of children. 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.

Society "Our Children" Opatija is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, voluntary organisation which promotes the realisation of children's rights in society, encourages and maintains interest in freely chosen activities of preschool and school-aged children in their free time, and helps in shaping the democratic and humanistic behaviour of children.

The City of Opatija received an honorary title ''City of Opatija- Child Friendly City'', alongside 5 other communities in Croatia in 2005. Initiated in 1999, the initiative of ‘Child friendly cities and Municipalities’ focuses on children up to the age of 15 years. With this title, the City of Opatija has voluntarily pledged to take care of its youngest citizens and take their views into account. The City of Opatija works together with associations, schools, social care institutions, health institutions, media and other relevant actors to develop the city based on the needs of children in Opatija. Society ‘Our Children’ Opatija has partnered with the city to offer various educational and leisure services to children of all backgrounds.

Want to sponsor our Conference?

Associate your organisation with the conference and support the work that is being done in the child rights sector, connect with European civil society and gain visibility by engaging with a diverse public of 300 participants from across Europe. Find out more!
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Latest News

Eurochild conference travels to child-friendly Opatija

Eurochild’s next bi-annual conference takes place in Opatija, Croatia from 29-31 October 2018.

(25 January 2018, Opatija)

The conference entitled ‘Building a better Europe with children: All Aboard!’ will be hosted by Society ‘Our Children’ Opatija in partnership with the City of Opatija, under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

The host, Secretary of the Society “Our children” Opatija Sanja Škorić and Secretary General of Eurochild Jana Hainsworth announced the Eurochild Conference in Opatija this morning, in the presence of the Mayor of the City of Opatija Ivo Dujmić; Head of UNICEF Croatia office Valentina Otmačić and the Children’s Mayor of the City of Opatija Petra Deranja along with Croatian media, including child journalists who raised pertinent questions to the organisers and hosts.

We are delighted to bring the children’s rights community with us to Opatija this year to discuss why and how to involve children in public decision-making in particular children from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Involving children meaningfully in decisions that affect them impacts other societal outcomes like employment, skills development, democratic participation and civic engagement. The conference will be an opportunity for us to discover how the child-friendly City of Opatija supports children’s participation and share its lessons with other governments, organisations and individuals”, said Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild.

The Eurochild Conference in Opatija will bring positive examples of how public decision-makers at local, national and European levels are respecting the right of children to participate in decisions affecting them. The conference will host an estimated 300 participants including public sector officials, politicians, children’s rights professionals as well as children themselves. By involving under 18 years-olds in the planning, preparation and delivery of the conference, the conference itself will be an example of participation in action.

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