Children to take over 13th European gathering on child rights

Owing to its expertise, Eurochild has been invited to ensure children are involved in shaping the European Forum on the Rights of the Child.

In 2019, Petra, the Croatian representative of the Eurochild Children's Council joined other young people at the 12th European Forum on the Rights of the Child in Brussels.

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.

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. Through previous collaborations, the European Commission is well aware of Eurochild’s expertise in child participation. As a result, Eurochild will take a leading role on ensuring that children are part of shaping the Forum and the future EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child.

Together with the European Commission Coordinator for the Rights of the Child and her team, we have been able to secure representation from the Eurochild Children’s Council on the opening panel with Commissioner Reynders and on a high-level panel with Vice-President Šuica. Additionally, the Eurochild Children’s Council will organise and facilitate a child-led workshop and give concluding remarks on the final day of the Forum. 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.

Due to current circumstances, the Forum will be taking place online which brings with it new challenges but also opportunities. In recent months, the Eurochild Children’s Council have demonstrated an incredible ability to learn, improvise and adapt to the new circumstances. Eurochild has strived to rapidly expand its capacity and competencies in order to facilitate meaningful child participation online. 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.