German civil society discusses future EU child rights strategy
The National Coalition Germany , a national partner network of Eurochild, teamed up with its German members UNICEF, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes, World Vision, SOS-Kinderdorf and War Child to present the Joint Position Paper on a Comprehensive Child Rights Strategy to civil society organisations in an online meeting with 60 members on 26 August 2020. The Joint Position Paper, co-written by Eurochild, lays out the vision for a child rights strategy aligned with the priorities of the European Commission 2019-2024. Each topic, be it the fight against poverty, the Green Deal, EU fundamental rights, digitalisation, democratic values or Europe´s role in the world and a new push for European democracy has a distinct child rights perspective which needs to be laid out in the upcoming EU child rights strategy.
This initiative for an EU Child Rights Strategy comes at a crucial time for children worldwide being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and represents an important step to strengthen children's rights during the current Germany's EU Council Presidency.
From a German perspective, members of the coalition emphasised the importance of a holistic framework on child rights aligned with the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals and harmonizing EU strategies regarding vulnerable groups like migrant children in and beyond Europe. Improvements that are made through rights-based approaches, like the upcoming child rights strategy, should not be impeded by contradicting EU initiatives, for example in the area of displacement and migration. Further, the participation of children and youth on all political levels could not be emphasised enough, particularly regarding the right to a healthy environment.
In this peer-to-peer learning process, members of the National Coalition Germany also shared knowledge on the planned consultation process with civil society, including children and youth (please find details in the EC’s Roadmap). As highlighted during a previous event in June regarding the German EU-presidency, co-organised with the Child and Youth Welfare Association - AGJ, developing policies and legislation that affect children and youth needs their involvement. All children's rights organisations members of the National Coalition Germany play their part in facilitating such involvement and implementing this principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.