Conference on Redefining power: Strengthening the rights of the child – Mid-term evaluation of the Children’s Rights Strategy – was held in Strasbourg on 13-14 November 2019.
It has been 30 years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child set the foundations for a legal and cultural revolution in the way that children, and their human rights, are perceived.
The Council of Europe has been working to further this vision at the European level for over a decade, reaching the mid-term of its Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021) this year. Much has been accomplished in this time. And yet there is much that remains to be done to make Europe “future-proof” for children.
Systemic challenges for children’s rights, such as child poverty, have remained or even worsened in the past decade. While we are only now beginning to uncover the scale of child abuse that has taken place, and which continues to occur, in different settings, few have been brave enough to tackle the phenomenon of sexual violence by children. Children are growing up in a world that was almost unimaginable just a few decades ago: the children’s rights implications of information and communication technologies, new ways of collecting and processing data, and new challenges for media, have only just begun to be explored. At the same time, many children are facing the breakdown of traditional family structures and new modes of family life, which involve difficult questions on how to fulfil their rights and protect them from conflict. How do we ensure that children are protected and respected when they, themselves, stand up for human rights and democratic causes? And what future role do regional and international actors have to play in ensuring the rights of all children, in the face of these challenges?
The conference held on 13-14 November brought together stakeholders for bold, challenging and open discussion on the achievements, challenges and trends in children’s rights, with children playing an active part throughout. (coe.int)