Eurochild released its Annual Report 2016 last week at its General Assembly. The children’s rights network has taken its first steps to establish itself as a participatory network, that works for and with children. A section of the report is dedicated to the conference ‘Children’s Rights Matter: Why Europe needs to invest in children’, which involved children in the design, delivery and follow-up and was organised with the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium.
“2016 was a year of major changes that are testing the EU’s capacity to its limit, be it the Brexit vote, or the refugee and migrant children being failed by politicians. We showed a way to change the status quo by involving and giving a voice to children and young people themselves”, said Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, Eurochild.
The Annual Report highlights how Eurochild and its members are improving children’s rights in Europe, by coordinated actions at national and European levels. For instance, national events in Ireland and Northern Ireland drew attention to child poverty and how EU policy and funds can support national efforts. We also worked with the Dutch EU Presidency to secure strong EU-wide policy recommendations calling for integrated approaches to reduce child poverty.
The Eurochild network continues to grow. At the 2016 General Assembly 17 new members joined the network, and the national coalition for children’s rights in Germany was appointed as a National Partner Network. At last week’s 2017 General Assembly, 15 new members were endorsed as well as three new National Partner Networks (England, Latvia and Estonia). Eurochild now counts 165 members from across 33 European countries.
A strategy to embed children’s participation into the work of the network was also endorsed last week by the Eurochild membership.