Eurochild presented the Advocacy Toolkit to engage children in advocacy work developed with support from the Council of Europe at a meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child (CAHENF) of the Council of Europe. A number of national government representatives were present at this meeting on 21-23 March, where they provided updates on their work at national level.
The 42 Member States of the Council of Europe are encouraged to use the Toolkit and consult with children for the mid-term Review of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child, resulting in a high-level conference in Paris in June 2019.
Marja Ruotanen, Director of Human Dignity, Equality and Sport Values stressed the importance of children’s rights for the Council of Europe. The participants, included many government representatives and civil society observers, including Eurochild, discussed a range of children’s rights issues, including child budgeting and a life free from violence for all children, for which a new group of Experts has been set up, which meets on 17 May.
The Campaign ‘Start to Talk’ to combat abuse and violence in sports was presented. It includes a video spot and material to be shared with sports clubs. The CAHENF also discussed the draft guidelines for an effective guardianship for unaccompanied and separated children in migration and various UN and Council of Europe experts stressed the importance of not detaining any migrant children, not even as a last resort.
Draft guidelines open for comments
An exchange of views on a proposed draft Committee of Ministers Recommendation on Human Rights Principles and implementing guidelines on age assessment for children in migration also took place. Both draft guidelines are open for comments until 14 April. Please share any comments with Mieke Schuurman.
The guidelines will be discussed by the Safeguarding drafting Committee on 7-8 June and are expected to be adopted by the CAHENF at its next meeting 16-18 October 2018.