Commissioner Lenarčič presents achievements and challenges at the 14th European Forum on the Rights of the Child

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic delivers a keynote address on September 28, 2022, the second day of the 14th European Forum on the Rights of the Child.

The event is organized by the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission and focuses on children in armed conflict.

2 years ago, the EU adopted its first strategy on the rights of the child, including a clear EU commitment to support children affected by armed conflict.

Commenting on the progress made so far and the challenges ahead, the Commissioner Lenarcic underline : “The situation of children in armed conflict is dire all over the world, from Myanmar to the Sahel, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Colombia. Since Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, the fate of children caught up in armed conflict has once again been brought back to Europe. The EU is doing a lot on children’s rights, but the challenges remain. Too many children are still victims of grave violations: countless children are used by armed groups; Many are victims of sexual violence; Children are kidnapped and taken away from their families; Schools and hospitals are attacked; And children and families are too often denied access to humanitarian aid, in violation of international humanitarian law. Too often, authors do not see justice.

“That is why we will continue to push the agenda on children in armed conflict forward, including with the ongoing evaluation of the EU guidelines on children in armed conflict, dating from 2008. As EU, we want to ensure that the guidelines reflect the changing nature of conflicts and crises. However, to succeed in such efforts, we need everyone to join forces with us – Member States, civil society organizations, experts and of course children themselves. » Commissioner Lenarcic Explain.

Other participants in the event include a child from Juba, South Sudan, and the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba.