National Network for Children, represented by Georgi Bogdanov, Executive Director, co-hosted a discussion session on children’s rights, part of an international meeting organized by the FRA – European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, on “Human Rights in Times of challenges – prospects for the future “. The event was attended by the Special Commissioner for Equality, Ms. Helena Dali, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of UN Human Rights Defenders, Ms. Marie Laylor, and the Director of the European Human Rights Agency, Mr. Michael O ‘Flairty.
Civil society activists, politicians, donors and experts from European and international organizations participated in 13 online sessions, which discussed human rights challenges in various fields. The event explored how organizations can contribute to overcoming problems and provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences.
National Network for Children participates together with the international organization Eurochild, of which it is a member, in a discussion panel “Protection of the rights of children in the COVID-19 era from a national and pan-European perspective”.
Georgi Bogdanov made a presentation on “Conspiracy Theories and Children’s Rights”. He put the issue in a national context and shared various strategies that can be implemented by other NGOs when faced with similar challenges.
National network for children has long been working on the subject with the idea of informing the public about the origin and spread of conspiracy theories and the mechanism of their action. In September last year, we organized a special event dedicated to the problem, at which we reiterated that misinformation, propaganda and conspiracy theories negatively affect the formation of public attitudes, and hence the formation of policies in all areas.
The focus of the online meeting was children’s rights and Georgi Bogdanov presented the consequences of conspiracy theories on children’s policies:
- Weakening of child protection systems
- Refusal of legislative changes to protect victims
- Abolition of established practices such as health and sex education
- Imposition of conservative views
- Suspension of national strategic documents for the child
- Shrinking the space for civil society organizations
He also outlined the main directions in which work should be done to counter misinformation:
- Recognition of the problem and its seriousness and the harm it inflicts on children and the whole democracy of our societies. Recognition by the UN, EU and other international organizations;
- Consolidation at the civic, political and philanthropic level for counteraction
- Investing resources in counter-propaganda, media literacy and advocacy for children’s rights at European and national level
- Building mutual aid networks