From 29 September to 1 October, the European Commission is organising its 13th Forum on the Rights of the Child. With high-level participants from international institutions, governments and civil society, the annual conference has become one of the most important platforms for developing policies on the rights of the child in the EU and beyond. Due to current circumstances, the Forum will be taking place online which brings with it new challenges but also opportunities.
Whilst the Forum has previously been attended primarily by adults, this year the European Commission has made exceptional efforts to actively involve children as participants and contributors. Therefore participants include children and young people, national authorities and policymakers, judicial and child protection practitioners, ombudspersons for children, independent experts, international and non-governmental organisations, academics, EU institutions and agencies. Eurochild will be supporting the participation of 50 children from the Eurochild network and ensuring the host and participants are well prepared to ensure meaningful interactions in a safe space.
New EU strategy on the rights of the child
This year’s forum is part of the consultation process that will lead to the new EU strategy on the rights of the child. The new strategy will provide a comprehensive policy framework for children’s rights, bringing all existing and future EU actions and policies on children’s rights under one single umbrella.
We are therefore confident that the Forum will be an important platform for children to centre themselves in the discussion on children’s rights, while exhibiting the importance and value of child participation. This is a vital step towards establishing sustainable structures for meaningful child participation at European level.
Four of our Child Rights Ambassadors will also take part in the forum, where they can express their thoughts and opinions.