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At the event FRA and Unicef presented their latest reports on access to justice for children which fed the policy debate that followed with representatives of EU institutions and Member States. The FRA report Child-friendly justice – perspectives and experiences of professionals shows that a lot more needs to be done to make justice child-friendly across the EU. It pointed to the need to turn child rights into reality through EU legislation and support measures for Member States. The Unicef report, Children’s Equitable Access to Justice in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, sheds light on the tremendous barriers children face in seeking fair and effective solutions to put right the injustice and discrimination in their lives. The discussions highlighted problems in the way judicial procedures are set and function in practice, particularly regarding cooperation between different actors as key aspects of child protection. They also identified promising practices that could be shared and built upon so that all children can benefit from access to justice in a way that is accordance with their needs.

The event took place on the margins of the 9th European Forum on the rights of the child took place in Brussels. The focus was on strengthening coordination and cooperation between different agencies and across different sectors to better promote and protect child rights across national, regional and local levels. FRA presented findings from its work on mapping national child protection systems across the EU that were also used in the European Commission’s reflection paper circulated during the event. The forum brought together stakeholders working on child rights and child protection to foster the exchange of good practices and to help strengthen ties between them.