On 7 June 2017, the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) of the European
Parliament organised a capacity building training session on children’s rights.
Experts from the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (FRA) as well as from UNICEF and Eurochild delivered this training.
Two cities, Barcelona and Timisoara, sent one representative each to attend this training. The representatives, social workers by background, participated actively in three workshops: children in the context of migration; access to justice; children in vulnerable situations (children living in poverty, Roma children, children with disabilities, LGBTI children).
The city representatives learned about a wide range of EU laws that guarantee a child-rights perspective approach on the issues that affect them. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) remains the strongest reference that frames laws to promote, protect and fulfil children’s rights. It was ratified by all EU member states.
However, many of the children’s rights are not guaranteed. For example, the international rights of the child are violated regarding the conditions in which the migrant children are detained and put in detention in some countries.
The issue of the missing children was also discussed. Emphasis was placed on the importance of treating all children equally. There are no statistics about how many migrant children are going missing as nobody reports their missing. To address this, a number was set up for people to call and report a missing child – 11600 – and ask for service support for the missing child.
Much still needs to be done to implement and adhere to the rights-based approach to children, using EU laws to prevent children’s rights violations and to promote children’s participation. The key messages were:
Children must be better informed of their rights
Children’s right to be heard and to participate needs to be guaranteed in access to justice
A diverse range of professionals must be trained on specific children’s right issues and on children-friendly interventions. Every child deserves a trained professional to accompany, translate, adapt, inform, hear them within the appropriate conditions, protect and keep them safe (concept of guardianship).
The participants from cities have learned a lot about children's rights and judicial procedures during this one-day training. They will now take up the lessons they learned into the practical work of their city administration by sharing the knowledge gained with many of their colleagues in the different departments working with children or families.
For more information about the content discussed in the different workshops and the resources shared during the training, please consult the two reports below.