Last update 01.12.2010 FRC Contact

Theme

FRC cover - Ensuring justice and protection for all childrenThe FRC 2010

'Ensuring justice and protection for all children'.

The conference will to stimulate the debate on challenges and strategies to protect particularly vulnerable children and deliver child-friendly justice in the European Union.

Vulnerable children may face violations of their rights in the EU, as evidence from many organisations shows. The EU has recognised this and places emphasis on the protection of vulnerable children, inter alia through the Stockholm Programme.

Separated asylum-seeking children in European Union Member States (Summary report – April 2010) FRA reports, have identified challenges in ensuring the fulfilment of the rights of children who have become victims of trafficking or have fled from their country of origin. These reports made proposals for further action to ensure that children enjoy the guarantees provided under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly regarding their protection from various forms of neglect, abuse and exploitation.

An integrated approach

Child protection problems are complex and inter-related. Therefore, an issue-based approach focusing on specific groups alone will not provide comprehensive and sustainable solutions. There is a need for more integrated, systems-based approaches to child protection. Child-centred practice, approaches and mechanisms offer ways to protect children and help realise their rights.

The FRC will explore avenues for State authorities to better protect vulnerable children, by following an integrated approach to child protection and involving civil society and children themselves. The focus will be on promoting and safeguarding the protection rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The FRC will discuss the practical implementation of these rights when a vulnerable child comes into contact with State authorities as a victim or witness.

Topics

The FRC will examine this by considering in particular the situation of :

  • Child victims of domestic violence
  • Separated and unaccompanied, asylum-seeking children
  • Child victims of trafficking
  • Children with intellectual disabilities.

In their handling by the authorities, all these categories of children are at risk to be subject to restrictions of their rights – whether not receiving appropriate education or medical care, having no access to legal counsel or specialist services for victims, or being deprived of contacts with parents or other primary caregivers, family and friends.

Justice and child protection

The FRC 2010 seeks to explore how these children with particular vulnerabilities can benefit from integrated approaches to child protection. Special attention will be paid to the need for coordination between justice and child protection systems, which ultimately benefits all children. The following sub-themes will be addressed:

  • Child-friendly judicial and administrative procedures
  • Participation of vulnerable children and access to support and complaints mechanisms
  • Joined-up governance to ensure coordination and referral between authorities
  • Measuring child protection in the area of justice.