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German civil society starts consultation on EU child rights strategy

The National Coalition Germany teamed up with its German members UNICEF, Save the Children, terre des hommes, WorldVision, SOS-Kinderdorf and War Child to present the Joint Position Paper on a Comprehensive Child Rights Strategy to civil society organisations in an online meeting with 60 members on 26th August 2020.

The Joint Position Paper on a Comprehensive Child Rights Strategy, co-written by Eurochild, lays out the vision for a child rights strategy aligned with the priorities of the EU Commission 2019 to 2024. Each topic, be it the fight against poverty, the Green Deal, EU fundamental rights, digitalisation, democratic values or Europe´s role in the world and a new push for European democracy has a distinct child rights perspective which needs to be laid out in the upcoming EU child rights strategy.

This initiative for an EU Child Rights Strategy comes at a crucial time for children worldwide being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and represents an important step to strengthen children's rights during the current Germany's EU Council Presidency. From a German perspective, members of the coalition emphasized the importance of a holistic framework on child rights aligned with the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the SDGs and harmonizing EU strategies regarding vulnerable groups like migrant children in and beyond Europe. Improvements that are made through right-based approaches, like the upcoming child rights strategy, shall not be impeded by contradicting EU initiatives, for example in the area of displacement and migration. Further, the participation of children and youth on all political levels could not be emphasized enough, particularly regarding the right to a healthy environment.

In this peer-to-peer learning process, members of the National Coalition Germany also shared knowledge on the planned consultation process with civil society, including children and youth (please find details in the EC’s Roadmap). As has been already highlighted during a previous event in June regarding the German EU-presidency, co-organised with the Child and Youth Welfare Association - AGJ,  developing policies and legislation that affect children and youth needs their involvement. All children's rights organisations members of the National Coalition Germany play their part in facilitating such involvement and implementing this principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.