Child Participation - Eurochild’s achievements in 2021
The participation of children in the new EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the Child Guarantee
Eurochild created a child-friendly overview of what was, or was not, taken into account by the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, which was shared with the children involved in the – ‘Our Europe, Our Rights, Our Future’ consultation.
Eurochild coordinated the validation by children of 23 child-friendly language versions (short, long and easy-read) of the EU strategy on the rights of the child. Organisations organized at least one focus group meeting (online or offline) with a minimum of 5 children and involved children within the age range of 7 -18 years, though the majority of the children were between 11 and 18 years. A total of around 150 children have participated in the consultations.
Guidelines on the organisation of child-friendly and safe meetings at EU level
Eurochild worked in close collaboration with Prof. Laura Lundy and her team, who have been responsible for designing Guidelines on the organisation of child-friendly and safe meetings at EU level and on the use of child friendly language during meetings.
Eurochild’s organised two focus groups with 15 children and young people from across Europe and with various backgrounds, who took part to the 2020 European Forum on the Rights of the Child as speakers, contributors to parallel sessions or as participants or in other international conferences or events. These included members of the Eurochild Children’s Council and children supported by other organisations.
Child participation training for European Commission Staff
Eurochild organised a child participation training for 17 European Commission, Frontex and European Court of Auditors staff. The training was co-facilitated with 4 Eurochild Children’s Council member.
Conference on the Future of Europe
Eurochild created a child-friendly document to guide children to engage with the Conference on the Future of Europe’s online platform. We shared this with our members, and it was also translated into Croatian.
Eurochild Updated Child Participation Strategy
In 2021 Eurochild adopted the Updated Child Participation Strategy, ‘Children’s Priorities are our Priorities’. We believe that effective, sustainable and relevant decisions can only be made if the people concerned are meaningfully involved in the process, including children. Children are experts in their own lives and it is essential that they participate in decisions that affect them.
National Eurochild Forums: 3 exchange meetings in 2021
National Eurochild Forums (NEFs) are groups of children from diverse backgrounds responsible for collecting and investigating the views of children across their country. In November 2021, the children from the Croatian NEF met to discuss the Europe they would like to live in.
The Eurochild Children’s Council (ECC)
The Eurochild Children’s Council has been actively involved in Eurochild’s advocacy, governance and activities.
The ECC had an important contribution to the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the validation of its child-friendly language versions. One ECC member participated in the first anniversary celebration video with Commissioners Schmit and Šuica. Several of them participated in the European Commission consultation on the guidelines for organising child-friendly and safe meetings at EU level. The ECC also prepared and co-facilitated a child participation training for staff across the European Commission.
The ECC also participated in the Council of Europe CP4Europe (child participation for Europe) high-level international conference on meaningful child participation in decision-making. They have all been child rights activists at national level too, including: representing children in children’s parliaments and councils, speaking at national policymaking events, running child rights workshops at schools, participating in safer internet days, and creating a news journal for children in rap-format.
At the Eurochild Members Day 2021, the ECC created and facilitated their own workshop ‘Life after Covid’ for members and children. It provided a safe space to discuss all that changed and affected our daily lives over the past two years. The ECC contributed to the updated Eurochild Child Participation Strategy 2021 and they co-led, with the Eurochild child participation team, the selection process of the new Eurochild Children’s Council for 2022-2024.