On November 26th 2013, ChildPact Secretary General Mirela Oprea met with key figures at the Council of Europe to discuss child protection issues and consider unified responses.
Ms. Oprea met with Thornbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights, Regina Jensdottir, Head of Children’s Rights Division, Gordana Berjan, Head of Children’s Unit, Jutta Gutzkow, Head of Civil Society Division, Jane Crozier-Vincent, Civil Society Division, GDII – Directorate General of Democracy, Aurora Ailincai, Advisor on Education Policies for Roma, Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation, Jeron Schokkenbroek, Special Representatives of the Secretary General for Roma Issues and Interim Director for Education and Alexander Seger, Secretary of Cybercrime, Convention Committee Head of Data Protection and Cybercrime Division.
The meetings between the Council of Europe and ChildPact addressed potential partnership ideas between the two organizations to advance child protection reform initiatives across Europe. During the meeting with Thornbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, ChildPact Secretary General Mirela Oprea stressed the importance of supporting and strengthening child-protection coalitions in the region and talked about the importance of cross-border and regional learning as an integral part of successful reform advancement.
Interlocutors stressed the importance of having reliable data in order to support effective policies and push forward reforms. During the meeting with the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Nils Muiznieks encouraged ChildPact and its partners to provide information and suggest ways forward on child protection issues that are at the center of the Commissioner’s activities. ChildPact committed itself to provide information and inputs to the Commissioner and other figures of the Council of Europe in order to strengthen child protection efforts at the regional level. One such effort includes ChildPact’s upcoming initiative to create an index that measures child protection reform progress across the region.
Understanding that Roma children are often among the most vulnerable groups, ChildPact Secretary General engaged on debates about how to share promising practices related to Roma inclusive education during the discussions with Jeron Schokkenbroek, Special Representatives of the Secretary General for Roma Issues and Interim Director for Education and Aurora Ailincai, Advisor on Education Policies for Roma, Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation.
ChildPact was invited to become a member of The Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe in 2014. The Conference of INGOs is a recognized institution of the Council of Europe and includes 375 INGOs. Thematic working groups within the conference include the topics of human rights, education, democracy and social cohesion.
As this series of meetings demonstrate, ChildPact is working to engage European institutions on behalf of over 600 NGOs across the Black Sea area as a constructive dialogue partner and communications messenger between these important stakeholders. ChildPact will continue to advocate for children’s rights at national and international levels and will continue its work to prevent and address child vulnerability by promoting regional cooperation and strengthening civil society networks in the wider Black Sea area.