news

National Eurochild Forums: From Local to European

Eurochild is dedicated to ensuring children’s right to participate. Apart from our work directly with children through the Eurochild Children’s Council, we have also established five National Eurochild Forums (NEFs) in Malta, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, and most recently in Ukraine.

The NEFs are formations of young people engaging in dialogue locally and nationally to discuss their rights, concerns and well-being. In collaboration with our advocacy team and the Eurochild Children’s Council, we develop guiding questions. However, we also allow and encourage a large degree of flexibility. We give young people the opportunity to shape the conversations in ways that are relevant and meaningful to them.

In 2020 NEF activities, issues such as children in alternative care, child participation, poverty, discrimination were the focus of discussions. A number of creative initiatives were launched including discussion groups, a film festival on children’s rights, radio interviews, questionnaires, panel debates and a book.

The NEFs serve multiple purposes. We see child participation as both a means to an end and an end in itself. Encouraging greater child participation is, in itself, a goal. However, the conversations also feed into advocacy work on local, national and European level ensuring children are increasingly being listened to in decision-making. NEFs have a better chance of engaging with children who might otherwise not be able to participate in conversations around children’s rights due to barriers of access, language and capacity. This is an indispensable contribution to the work of Eurochild.

In March this year, the children involved NEF activities were for the first time participating in the coordinators meeting. Their enthusiasm and lived experiences was an invaluable contribution to the meeting. It was even discussed to do a first ever internationally coordinated NEF activity potentially involving children form all five countries. Not only was this a reminder of why children should be involved in more aspects of coordination, it was also another example of opportunities that can emerge when we cooperate and work together with and for children.

Finally, the NEFs are also a network of like minded practitioners who support one another. Via regular coordinators meetings, we share our experiences, discuss our challenges and learn from each other. We believe that capacity building and continuous development is key to effective child participation.

In 2021, we will work on strengthening the existing structures. But from 2022, we hope to expand our network of NEFs to other countries.

For more on NEFs, please contact Jens Ladekarl




Related News/Events

slide
27 June 2022

Meet the 2022 Eurochild Children’s Council members!

The new Eurochild Children’s Council (ECC) started their 2 year-mandate at the Eurochild General Assembly The Eurochild Children’s Council is a group of children supported by Eurochild members from different…
read more
slide
2 June 2022

13th European Forum on the rights of the child awarded by Visit Brussels

Eurochild supported the participation of children at the 2020 EU Commission forum on child rights. On 18 March 14 congress and conference organisers became Brussels ambassadors at the Brussels Events…
read more
slide
5 May 2022

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,…
read more