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Child-friendly justice and integrated child protection systems – lessons learnt from EU-funded projects

Jana Hainsworth reflects on the conference aiming to capture the lessons on child-friendly justice from projects funded by the EU.

Visual recording from the conference. Courtesy: COPE/Twitter

It was the last conference to be organised under the leadership of Margaret Tuite, coordinator of children’s rights in the European Commission.

Some 300 participants, including a few Eurochild members, gathered  in Brussels on 25-26 June 2018 to take stock of what has been achieved and learnt from projects funded through the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme and DAPHNE which aims to prevent violence against women and children. Besides presentations from professionals and project promoters on the innovations (from Courthouse Dogs in the US to using Virtual Reality to acclimatise children to courts) they have brought to ensuring justice systems become more child friendly and are supported by integrated child protection systems, the conference allowed for frank exchanges about the potential and the limitations of EU project funding. Participants discussed how to stay more focused on the actual outcomes for children and young people, how to ensure a sustainable legacy from the project, and how to ensure children and young people are meaningfully involved.

In the words of Margaret Tuite, "the average EU-funded project costs the EU about the price of a house (400,000€).  We have to know what we are getting for that money, and what difference it is going to make"! 

Margaret has done an amazing job pushing on the inside of the European Commission for children’s rights. She will be sorely missed.

Find out about all past EU Forums on Children’s Rights here.

And a compilation of all projects funded on the rights of the child and violence prevention here.