To tackle violence against children effectively, we must adopt a holistic approach and stop working in silos – SRSG Maalla M’jid @Council of Europe Conference
Strasbourg, 14 November 2019 - Redefining Power: Strengthening the rights of the child as the key to a future-proof Europe was the theme chosen by the Council of Europe for the conference aiming to review its mid-term of its Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021).
SRSG Maalla M’jid commended the work of the Council of Europe, “a key ally” in the protection of children’s rights in a particularly challenging period marked by “a backlash against human rights defenders, including child activists, when institutions designed to protect children and their rights are being challenged more and more”.
Furthermore, SRSG Maalla M’jid reminded that 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child this “trend is closely connected to the theme of this conference, which is redefining power. One of the achievements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child was reframing how we understand children’s agency and their power. Children went from being passive recipients of charity to individual rights-holders with a voice. But this conceptual change has not been totally reflected in practice on the ground.” The two-day international conference on children’s rights aimed for assessing what European states are doing to promote children’s rights protection and what challenges remain.
SRSG Maalla M’jid called for enhanced collaboration from all actors to accelerate the impmentation of the Sustainable Development Goals: “Children’s lives are not divided thematically to correspond to the mandates of the organizations working on their behalf. To tackle violence against children effectively, we must adopt a holistic approach and stop working in silos. This holistic approach is also supported by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.” Added SRSG Maalla M’jid.
A report presenting the mid-term evaluation of the Council of Europe’s Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2016-2021 was presented at the event, the five priority areas of the Strategy being equal opportunities, participation, a life free from violence, child-friendly justice and the rights of the child in the digital environment.