Eurochild Conference 2018 kicks off with inspiring opening speeches

Politicians should accept dialogue, listen and exchange with children and share power!

The Eurochild team and over 300 participants received a warm welcome to Opatija, Croatia’s child friendly city, as Eurochild’s biggest event kicked off in style yesterday. The programme promised a range of high level speakers offering inspiration and food for thought on how children can become active agents in influencing and improving public decision-making!  

Participants were inspired by opening speeches by children from the Eurochild Youth Advisory Group, Ivo Dujmic the Mayor of Opatija, and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and Founder of Missing Chapter Foundation.

 

Opatija is a child-friendly city has a children’s city council — Petra is the Child’s Mayor. What a great idea to ensure that the voice of children is heard! #EurochildConf pic.twitter.com/yK2EMDfbiu

— Linda Lodding (@linda_lodding) October 29, 2018

 

Petra, Children's Mayor of the City of Opatija, Member of the Youth Advisory Group to the Conference and Princess Laurentien 

 

"Adults need to answer these questions when they seek children's participation: Are you ready to share your power with me? Are you ready for the game to change? Are you ready to accept my participation has value without needing proof?"

Princess Laurentien at #EurochildConf pic.twitter.com/4KV5KzV0Rv

— Children's Parliament (@Creative_Voices) October 29, 2018

                               

Opening speeches at the Eurochild Conference 2018, Opatija, Croatia 

 

The messages from participating children were clear, not only are they fighting for their individual rights, but also for the rights of children in their countries.  

The conference hosts participants from 39 different countries around Europe and 100 of the participants are below the age of 18. The Eurochild event was co-designed and co-delivered with children, which will bring their own ideas and perspective to support their engagement in public decision-making.  

Inspiring to learn about the prominent involvement of children and youth in organising #EurochildConf through the Youth Advisory Group pic.twitter.com/V8zUjSokHi

— Tdh Juvenile Justice (@tdhjustice) October 29, 2018

 

 Children participating in discussions at the Eurochild Conference 2018 Opatija, Croatia 

 

Key themes focused on so far:

 

·        Treating children seriously

·        The importance of dialogue between adults, politicians and children

·        Participation has value in creating a better Europe for children

 

The conference will be held until 31 October 2018. You can follow the conference on social media and with our hashtag #EurochildConf

Learn more about the conference here.