The Council of Europe’s Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2022-2027 (the Rome Strategy) and the EU Strategy for the Rights of the Child share a common vision and objectives, focusing on the participation of children, integrated systems for child protection and child-friendly justice, said the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, in her address to the 14th European Forum on the Rights of the Child 2022.
She stressed the importance that strategic partnerships have played in the elaboration and implementation of the Council of Europe’s Rome Strategy, as well as previous strategies. “The European Union has been in the first rank of our partners in this,” Secretary General noted.
Both the Council of Europe and the EU are implementing the Council of Europe Recommendation on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18, apply the Child Participation Assessment Tool, and promote child-friendly justice.
The Barnahus model designed to provide the highest standards of care, support and access to justice when it comes to child victims of sexual abuse, draws on the Council of Europe’s Guidelines and recommendations of our key monitoring bodies (the Lanzarote Committee) and has seen rapid expansion across Europe thanks to the funding and determination of the EU.
The Secretary General stressed that the aims of the new EU strategy for the Rights of the Child - empowering, protecting and including children - are “right and just”, and reiterated that the Council of Europe’s experience and expertise are available where required.
She also spoke of the challenges children face, including the recent growth of self-generated sexual content made by children and of the increased risk of abuse of Ukrainian children in migration, which the Secretary General called “one of the many appalling effects of Russia’s aggression”.
The Council of Europe’s work on children in migration is presented at the Forum as part of the workshop “Towards integrated child protection systems - protection and support to unaccompanied children: the role of guardians”. The Council of Europe’s Coordinator for the Rights of the Child will present the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on effective guardianship for unaccompanied and separated children in the context of migration.