In 2018-2019 the Council of Europe will carry out the Mid-term review of its Strategy for children’s rights. This will include a consultation among Member States on the progress made over the past three years with the implementation of the five priority areas, including
- combating violence;
- child-friendly justice;
- equal opportunities;
- children’s rights in the digital environment and
- child participation.
At the same time children will be consulted on these five thematic areas. Eurochild has been asked to carry out children’s consultations to be led by its members. Government representatives are also consulted and are asked to cooperate with civil society and where possible with children in these consultations. The results from the mid-term review will be reported to a high-level conference in June 2019 in Paris. Following children’s participation in the conference launching the Council of Europe Strategy for Children’s Rights in Sofia, children will again be invited to participate in the Paris conference.
Other developments at the Ad Hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child
Council of Europe Government representatives adopted a recommendation proposing guidelines for effective guardianship for unaccompanied and separated children in migration, at their meeting of Ad Hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child on 16-18 October in Strasbourg. This recommendation will be presented for adoption to the Committee of Ministers. The other document open for discussion were draft guidelines on age assessment of migrant children. These require further considerations with Member States before this could be further discussed.
The new Director of Anti-Discrimination, Jeroen Schokkenbroek, stressed the importance of mainstreaming children’s rights in all areas of the Council of Europe. He also stressed the important cooperation of the Ad Hoc Committee with the UN and civil society organisations. He communicated the recent news that Russia would withdraw its 33 million contribution to the Council of Europe budget in 2019. This will considerably impact the work of the Council of Europe in 2019 since this is 10% of its total income. Nevertheless, he stressed that children’s rights remains a priority of Member States and the Council of Europe.
Eurochild produced an advocacy toolkit to promote children’s participation, with support from Council of Europe