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Saturday 26th of May 2018

Press Room

FRA gathers children and experts to discuss protection of fundamental rights in the EU

Wednesday 9th of August 2017
IJJO Day by Day

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), in close co-operation with the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council, held a high-level symposium on June 28th where the fundamental rights issues that are currently high on the EU’s political agenda were discussed. This event, organised for the FRA 10th anniversary, included the special participation of children coming from nine EU Member States. 

These children were invited to make statements to express their concern about the challenges of protecting human rights, and particularly children’s rights. They also asked questions to the experts’ panel on how to tackle the issue of child protection. Representatives of European institutions and NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and UNICEF were part of panels. The IJJO also participated in this symposium as a member of FRA’s Fundamental Rights platform.

In order to answer the question of whether Europe is doing enough to protect fundamental rights, panellists discussed several issues related to migrant children, as for instance:

- How to enhance child protection in the hot spot when they arrive in Europe.

- Ensuring the reception of unaccompanied children in European Union Member States.

- Fostering an inclusive education for Roma and migrant children and preventing their stigmatisation.

- How to improve their access to justice, in particular the right to be heard.

FRA’s director, Michael O’Flaherty, gave a speech focusing on the efforts that need to be made in order to avoid child detention. He insisted on the improvement of child protection for migrants at all stages of their path. With regard to human rights, he reminded the audience that children should be at the core of legislation, and that the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) have to be respected by the EU and its Member States.

As a member of the Fundamental Rights Agency platform, the IJJO strongly supports the agency’s work and its mission of protecting children arriving in Europe.

Full recordings available here

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