A new Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child is to be adopted by the Committee of Ministers in early 2016. The Strategy, which was drafted over the past year by Council of Europe member States in co-operation with civil society and other stakeholders, will be launched on 5-6 April 2016 at a high-level conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Conference is organised in the framework of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and will be hosted by the Bulgarian State Agency for Child Protection and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The Conference will provide a platform for an in-depth exchange on the five priority areas identified in the Strategy:
- equal opportunities for all children;
- participation of all children;
- a life free from violence for all children;
- child-friendly justice for all children;
- rights of the child in the digital environment.
The aim of the Conference is to identify how all actors in Council of Europe member States can work together to realise the objectives of the Strategy over the years to come.
The Conference will gather around 180 participants, including Ministers from Council of Europe member States and other high level guests, representatives from national and local governments, parliaments and civil society, the Council of Europe and other international organisations, professional and academic networks, ombudspersons for children, as well as children themselves.
Participation in the Conference is by invitation only.
Ministers responsible for children’s rights from all 47 member States will be invited to attend the Conference. The maximum size of national delegations is three persons.
Representatives of NGOs, ombudspersons for children, professional networks and academia were invited to respond to a call for expression of interest.
As in all major Council of Europe events and processes on the rights of the child over the past 10 years, children will be involved in the preparation, duration and follow-up of the conference.
The working languages of the Conference are English, French and Bulgarian, with the possibility to arrange for interpretation from other Council of Europe languages for high-level speakers, as appropriate.
More details about the launch of the Strategy are available on the event webpage.