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ENOC - The European Network of Ombudsmen for Children Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 June 2008 23:36

OMBUDSMAN is the important institution for protecting and promoting human rights, and presents a significant achievement of the civilized society, grounded on the principle rules of law and law-based states. As one of the means of protection and promotion of human rights of citizens, and the supervisor of state administration, it is the most significant indicator of the level of democracy in a society.

The idea of the foundation of ombudsman for children, as an independent institution with the coordinative, supervisory and altogether unifying role in the national protection systems of the rights of children, has been initiated by NGO's and strongly supported by international institutions, like the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

The main goal of all institutions for the protection of children's rights is to coordinate, promote and protect the rights of children, in an effort to make children's rights a more significant political and social priority - by influencing the representative bodies of parliamentary and executive powers to ensure that the rights of the child are being respected in the process of bringing decisions; by ensuring the efficient protection of children in case their rights being endangered; by promoting the right to express opinions and attitudes of children; and by expanding public awareness and educating both children and adults about the rights of the child.

Although the first office of the Ombudsman for Children has been established in
Norway according to the Law no. 5. in 1981, it was the Convention on the Rights of the Child (adopted at the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 20, 1989, and put into act on September 2, 1990, when ratified by almost all member states of United Nations) that has encouraged many states to form specialist offices for children's rights.

The Offices of Ombudsmen for Children have become a part of the global movement for the acknowledgement of children's rights and a more efficient application of international conventions about this issue. To this day the Offices of the Ombudsmen for Children have been established in most European countries,
Israel, some states in North and South America, the Republic of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

In June 1997, the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children (ENOC) was formally established at a meeting in Trondheim, Norway, with the purpose of connecting parliamentary or government Offices of Ombudsmen for Children; national, regional or local state offices for the protection of children's rights, as well as NGO's which advocate children's rights at the national level.

The goals of ENOC are reflected its activities which include advocating the thorough application of Convention on the Rights of the Child; exchanging information, approaches and strategies to children's benefit, including comparative studies; supporting individual and collective lobbying for children's rights and interests at European and international bodies (European Union, Council of Europe, UN Committee for the Rights of the Child, etc.); promoting and supporting the development of efficient offices capable of independent representation of children; the collective activity aiming at the insurance of the positive national policy for children's rights; and monitoring the implementation of children's rights and the influence of political and economic changes on them.

Below is the list of countries with a representative in ENOC:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Georgia, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland.