Commissioner Mr Nils Muižnieks’s activity report for the first quarter of 2018 has been published after being presented to the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly.
According to the Commissioner “children are the future of any society and must be given the skills to build mutual understanding, respect and tolerance” and therefore, protection of their rights constitutes his major concern.
His multi-levelled, multi-dimensional and intense action on the topic during the first three months of 2018, consisted of numerous missions and visits, meetings, reports and continuous dialogue, statements, keynote addresses, and recommendation letters.
Inclusive education, as an effective vehicle for overcoming a number of restraining situations for a great number of students, such as segregation between ethnic communities, Roma children and children with disabilities was emphasized in his missions to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Serbia, where the Commissioner also made school visits, in order to better understand the education systems in these CoE member states.
Stressing the need for inclusive education, the Commissioner urged for certain systematic and long term measures to be adopted by the authorities ensuring effective interaction and understanding between students of different ethnic communities and/or needs, such as giving the opportunity to all children to learn at a young age non-majority languages, reintegrating Roma students and students with disabilities in regular schools.
Migrant children constitute yet another focal issue of the Commissioner’s activities and within the scope of his report and continuous dialogue activities he urged Swedish authorities to provide stronger support to unaccompanied migrant children with consideration to the best interests of the children being primarily placed in all decisions relating to asylum and migration and addressing related issues at multidisciplinary level. He also called upon French authorities to abolish detention of migrant minors.
In his recent mission to the Slovak Republic, Commissioner Nils Muižnieks was accompanied by Commissioner Elect, Mrs Dunja. Mrs Milatović, who was elected by the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on 24 January 2018, will efficiently succeed Mr Nils Muižnieks in the office of the Commissioner of Human Rights as of 1 April 2018. The Children’s Rights Team looks forward to collaborating with her on core children’s rights issues.