Helping our members to defend children’s rights in Europe
- Annual Report 2021 -
Despite the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) being universally ratified by all countries in Europe, there is still widespread resistance to the recognition of children as individual rights holders. Eurochild members are at the forefront of promoting public awareness of children’s rights and campaigning for elected leaders to respect, protect and fulfill children’s rights.
- In March Bulgarian National Network for Children launched its campaign for child champions in the Bulgaria national elections;
- In September, a campaign by the German Children’s Rights Network convinced over 300 candidates to the federal elections to become Child Rights Champions
Unfortunately 2021 also saw worrying setbacks. The Hungarian Parliament passed a law that discriminates and stigmatizes children, preventing comprehensive sexuality education that meets children’s needs. Eurochild raised its concerns in the media, and reached out to its members in Hungary to lend support.
But at the level of the European Union and the Council of Europe, promising commitments to children’s rights have been made.
In March Eurochild welcomed the EU’s ambitious strategy on the rights of the child, in particular its efforts to take account the views and experiences of children themselves. However in October we expressed our dismay that 2 Member States vetoed the adoption of Council Conclusions that would have endorsed the EU strategy.
In October the Council of Europe Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child approved the draft Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027). It will be launched in Rome in April 2022 following its adoption by the Committee of Ministers under the Italian Presidency.
Throughout 2021 Eurochild continued to support these important initiatives, whilst also calling for stronger mechanisms to defend children’s rights against attack. It led to a high-level meeting between the CoE High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EC Vice-President for Democracy and Demography in February 2022 and launch of a position paper.