Work with children on new EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child nominated for the European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration 2023
Vote for Eurochild’s work with children and the European Commission – Nomination 55 - by 14 June
Eurochild sees the nomination for the European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration 2023 as a recognition of the work we have done with children on the EU Strategy on the rights of the child in a meaningful and rights-based way. The work is praised by the European Ombudsman for its excellence in diversity and inclusion by involving children in the development of the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child.
This involved the creation of an online questionnaire, receiving 10,000 replies from children across Europe and beyond, as well as input from child focus groups. Members of the Eurochild Children’s Council were part of a children’s advisory group, which actively participated in designing the questions feeding into the Strategy, analysing its responses and presenting these to three European Commissioners.
At the 2020 EU Forum on the Rights of the Child Eurochild also coordinated with the Child Rights Team at DG JUST the participation of an unprecedented number of 60 children, who could share their views, ideas and experiences as well as their priorities for the Strategy. This was a huge success in advocating for the importance of child participation. The Children’s Team at DG JUST took the time to meet with the children’s advisory group as well as children who participated in the EU Forum on the Rights of the Child to explain what was included in the new EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and what was not and why.
Alongside the official version of the strategy, the Child Rights Team at DG JUST developed illustrated child-friendly and accessible versions of the strategy. Eurochild members across the EU member states worked with children to validate all EU language versions and ensured that each language version was clear and accessible for children. Many of Eurochild’s members felt this task was an opportunity to discuss the EU’s role in implementing children’s rights with children and young people. It was an important step for the Commission to recognize that children needed to be included as experts in this process.
In tandem, to strengthen the Commission’s internal capacity to involve children in their work, including implementing the strategy, Eurochild with the Eurochild Children’s Council organised a child participation training for staff from across the European Commission.
Following the success of the 2020 EU Forum on the Rights of the Child, the European Commission committed to meaningfully involve more children in future Forums. At the last Forum in 2022, Eurochild was therefore asked again to support and coordinate the participation of children. Workshops and plenary sessions centred around exploring progress made since the adoption of the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, and it also marked the launch of the EU Children’s Participation Platform. Members of the Eurochild Children’s Council opened and closed the event and also delivered a workshop which was prepared and lead by themselves.