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Eurochild Supports the Commission to Become More Child-Friendly

The European Commission has reached out to Eurochild for a set of activities to ensure more children can be engaged safely and meaningfully in their work.

In 2020, with many having had to move activities online, new digital frameworks saw the light of day. This offered new opportunities to connect with people from far and wide. A great example was the 2020 EU Forum on the Rights of the Child which saw an unprecedented number of children logging on from across Europe to share their views, ideas and experiences. Facilitated in large parts by Eurochild in close cooperation with the Child Rights team in the Commission, this was a huge success in advocating for the importance of child participation.

Due to the combined experience, capacity and competence of Eurochild and our membership, the Commission has now reached out to us to support them in their efforts to increasingly involve children meaningfully in their work.

Firstly, to strengthen the Commissions internal capacity, we are in the process of organising a child participation training for Commission staff this autumn. Secondly, to secure safe and meaningful meetings, we are reviewing (with support from Queens University Belfast) the official Commission guidelines for adults participating in meetings with children. Young participants from the EU Forum will be consulted to make sure these guidelines reflect their experiences, needs and wishes.

Finally, having worked continuously to make sure children’s voices were reflected in the recently published EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, we are happy to have been engaged by the Commission to review all child friendly translations with the involvement of children. Many of our members have happily accepted this task and are using it as an opportunity to also the role of the EU and children’s rights with young people. This is an important step in the right direction for the Commission both seeking to have accessible material readily available in all official EU languages, while recognising the children as experts to be included.

If you would like to hear more about this work, please contact Jens Ladekarl, Eurochild Child Participation & Conference Assistant.