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Child participation and the Stockholm Strategy

 

Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 27 November 2008, the Stockholm Strategy determines the Council's work in children's rights for the period 2009-11. Child participation is identified as one of three key work areas, thus further increasing the importance of children's participation rights and the speed with which they will be mainstreamed in all Council of Europe work.

Based on the objectives set by the Stockholm Strategy, the following actions are taken:

 

the involvement of children in Council of Europe activities concerning them, such as internet governance, sexual violence, children in care, child-friendly justice as well as the draft recommendations on the legal status of children and parental responsibilities, child-friendly health care, child-friendly social services, and child and youth participation

the creation of an Ad hoc Advisory Group on child and youth participation that advises the Council of Europe on this matter and develops a recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states on child and youth participation

a policy review process in three member states to provide an empirical basis for the recommendation and future action of the Council of Europe in this area. The policy reviews of Finland, of the Republic of Moldova and Slovakia are currently available.

the mainstreaming of child participation in the Council of Europe Secretariat through an internal working group and the development of a coherent policy on child participation
 

training for Council of Europe staff and partners on children's rights and participation

 

Mainstreaming children's participation into other Council of Europe policies

Integrated national strategies to protect children from violence
Children's participation is one of the main pillars of the future "European policy guidelines for national integrated strategies on violence against children". First and foremost, the guidelines recognise children's entitlement to participate in the decisions affecting them personally. Secondly, the guidelines emphasise that children must be actively engaged and empowered, according to their evolving capacity, to participate meaningfully in the planning, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes targeting violence. This could be done through inserting into national child protection laws and procedures an obligation to take children's views seriously; providing children with easy access to child-friendly information about their rights; supporting children's  organisations and initiatives guided by the best interests of the child; and teaching children about their human rights.
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In the youth sector
The Council of Europe has encouraged young persons for a long time to participate in  civil society through its youth co-management system.
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The Pompidou Group – European Drug Prevention Prize
A jury of young people advised by experts awards this prize every 2 years to the best drug prevention project, projects that involve young people in decision making, content and implementation
Learn more

Child-friendly justice
The Council of Europe has recently adopted Guidelines on child friendly justice intended to enhance children’s access to and treatment in justice. In the drafting process, it decided to listen directly to children and young people. Around 4700 children from 25 countries throughout Europe have contributed to this consultation.
See the publication
International justice for children

Media and Internet

New communication technologies are capable of delivering democracy and participation not only to the doorsteps of people's homes but into people's - and children's - homes . These are great opportunities to be take. The CoE can show the way.   The importance of media (and Internet) literacy was highlighted during the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services, held in Reykjavik on 28 and 29 May 2009. Media literacy was pervasive issue during the conference. Ministers agreed that efforts as regards media literacy should be redoubled. Media literacy ranges from self (and child) protection to democratic citizenship, and also has an intercultural dialogue dimension. A situation where media literacy remains solely in the hands of the private sector is far from ideal. Active media skills should be delivered through both formal and non-formal education. Subsequently (on 21 October 2009) the CoE Committee of Ministers "invited the Secretary General to explore ways to strengthen Council of Europe efforts to promote media literacy and encouraged a Council of Europe transversal approach to this work under the stewardship of the Directorate General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport".

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Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to protect children against harmful content and behaviour and to promote their active participation in the new information and communications environment, adopted on 8 July 2009

Recommendation Rec(2006)12 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on empowering children in the new information and communications environment, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 27 September 2006