Eurochild brings children’s rights to the Fundamental Rights Forum

Eurochild will host two workshops to bring children’s rights to this annual gathering on pressing human rights challenges of today

The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 (11-12 October) is a unique platform for dialogue about the pressing human rights challenges that Europe faces today. The Forum brings together diverse voices, and uniting thinkers, makers, creators and doers. The forum will address two overarching topics: Young people and Europe’s future and Europe’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, the Forum will be a hybrid event - offering in-person and online events. It will be broadcasted live from Vienna City Hall and five other European cities – Strasbourg, Geneva, Warsaw, Ljubljana and Oslo.

During the two days, you will be able to follow over 140 different talks, workshops and debates on the six main themes: A human rights oriented digital age; Fighting hate and discrimination; People on the move; Social rights are human rights; Strengthening human rights practice; Defending the rule of law and securing access to justice.

Eurochild is pleased to host two online workshops and bring attention to children’s rights at this important gathering.

1) “Advancing children’s rights in early childhood”

- Monday 11 October, 1530-1630 hrs CET

This session is hosted by Eurochild.

Children’s rights in the early years (0-6) are rarely considered in public policy, despite evidence of their profound effect in shaping children’s healthy development and wellbeing. The session aims to raise awareness, understanding and support for children’s rights in early childhood and connect those who are interested and active in human rights and early childhood.

It will ask participants to reflect and act on the need for public policies and investment to pay more attention to early childhood, particularly for children facing poverty and exclusion. It will discuss how EU initiatives such as the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the European Child Guarantee can be used to advance early childhood development.

The speakers include:

  • Maria Herczog, Chair, Family, Child, Youth Association, Hungary and former member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Agata D’Addato, Eurochild and Aljosa Rudas, the International Step by Step Association (ISSA)
  • Naomi Feely, Senior Research and Policy Officer, Children’s Rights Alliance Ireland
  • Géraldine Libreau, European Commission DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
  • Stefan Iszkowski, Policy Officer, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

2) “Fulfilling social rights for children and families”

- Tuesday 12 October, 1015-1115 hrs CET

The hosts of this session are, Hope and Homes for Children and Eurochild in cooperation with Lumos and SOS Children’s Villages.

In line with the EU Strategy on the Rights of Child it will explore how child protection and welfare systems can be strengthened to realise the social rights of children and families and prevent entry in alternative care, in particular institutionalisation. In the first part, recent trends of deinstitutionalisation, drivers of family separation and placement in alternative care will be presented. It will include lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges faced by disadvantaged groups.

The second part will focus on how to strengthen child care and social protection systems by sharing practical examples including use of EU funds. It will be followed by Q & A, facilitated by a moderator to gather the questions and remarks from participants. It will be closed by sharing the main recommendations for development of integrated community-based support services for families at risk and for parenting support.

The speakers include:

  • Otto Sestak, Hope and Homes for Children Romania
  • Galina Markova, Know-how Centre for Alternative Care for Children, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria
  • Galina Bulat, Inclusive Education Manager, Lumos
  • Kresimir Makvic, National Advocacy Adviser, SOS Children's Villages Croatia

There are many more panel discussions, workshops, networking sessions, practical demonstrations and exhibitions, many with a focus on children.

> Browse the programme and register to the sessions

If you would like further information on the Eurochild events at the Fundamental Rights Forum, please do not hesitate to contact Ally Dunhill, Eurochild Head of Advocacy