Structural racism needs structural solutions – with children’s rights at the base

After representing the Eurochild network at the High Level Conference on the Implementation of National Action Plans against Racism, Anna Dorrian Werner from BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society), Eurochild’s new member from Sweden, shares some reflections.

On 16-17 February, around 80 representatives from the European Commission, NGOs, government authorities and academia were represented in Stockholm, Sweden, as the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted a high level conference “From plan to Action”. And it was the topic, from plan to action, that was at the core of all the speeches, panels, workshops and discussions.

The importance of civil society to combat racism was highlighted, but as several representatives pointed out, it is neither civil society’s, nor any individual’s personal responsibility. Structural problems need structural solutions. Participants discussed structural solutions as the need of legal framework, enough budget, coordination and cooperation and evaluation. Surprisingly there were few talks on the importance of a child rights perspective in forming plans for action against racism.

This was a reminder to us at Bris but also Eurochild, of the importance of always highlighting children’s rights at the base of every policy. Children’s rights do not exist in silos but in every policy area and aspect in society.

There was a great consensus at the conference on the need to go from planning to action. And it is certainly time to go from plan to action against racism – to ensure every child its humans rights enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Anna Dorrian Werner, Policy advisor at Bris, Children’s rights in Society Sweden

Further information on the conference

About BRIS:
BRIS is a politically and religiously independent children's rights organisation that listens to, supports and strengthens children and young adults' rights in society. The organisation conducts activities to raise the attention of politicians and decision‐makers to child rights' issues based on children's stories, and acts as a consultative body for legislative actions that affect children and young adults. BRIS' helpline and support services offer children and young adults up to 18 years old a secure, anonymous and free access to email, chat, or call with a counsellor at BRIS. To learn more about their work, visit

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