Objectives of the conference
More than 200 experts and decision makers from all over Europe and beyond will discuss:
Children on the move towards Europe:
· What happens to children before getting to Europe and what are the dangers to which they are increasingly exposed in third countries, due to the intensification of migration control measures?
· What are the responsibilities of Member States during children’s journey towards Europe?
· What are the consequences of these experiences once in Europe, in terms of mental health, personal growth and development; how does this painful baggage impact their decision to stay or leave care, to trust or not trust existing support and procedures, and their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse?
· The importance to increase the quality and the use of legal channels to make sure that children can arrive in Europe without going through the danger of perilous and unsafe journeys across countries – good practices and successful stories?
· Good practices in third countries in terms of supporting displaced children, providing realistic and reliable information about the situation in Europe and the existing options to move regularly across borders?
European developments, two years after the adoption of the Commission Communication on Protecting Children in migration
An analysis of the implementation of European guidance at national level, highlighting specifically in which areas we can see progress and where national policies are still lagging behind
In view of European elections in 2019
The conference will discuss how to make sure that politicians will explicitly commit to the protection of children in migration and on bringing forward the conference recommendations when elected
The conference will evaluate progress against the recommendations of the previous editions and will elaborate a new set of recommendations for the following year. These recommendations will take stock of the discussions from the conference and will be drafted during the event, by the participants. They will be presented at a policy roundtable with desk officers from the Commission and decision makers in Brussels in the following months.
A campaign will be launched during the event, calling for politicians to confirm their commitment to specific protection measures, before and after the elections, focusing on making sure that all children will be accounted for in Europe and treated without discrimination, also in view of preventing disappearances, and in full respect of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.