On 5 and 6 April 2016, the Committee of Ministers will adopt the new Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021). It will be launched at the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The Council of Europe’s children’s strategy is based on four main objectives of the Monaco Strategy (2011-2015). The Monaco Strategy focuses on incorporating child-friendly amenities in the areas of justice, health, and social services, guaranteeing the rights of children in vulnerable situations and abolishing all forms of violence that exist against them.
In November 2015, the Council of Europe met in Strasbourg to prepare the draft strategy. Thanks to advocacy by network member the Children’s Ombudsman’s Office Croatia, supported by COPE, children affected by parental incarceration were included, for the first time, as a group of vulnerable, marginalised children, expanding the criminal justice frame previously used. In this draft strategy, under “Protecting Children in the Context of Deprivation of Liberty,” the Council of Europe stated it “will consider addressing the situation of children whose parents are detained.” The final Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021) will be launched this April in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The work on the development of this new 2016-2021 Strategy for the Rights of the Child has been led by the Committee of Experts on the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child. During the conference in April, the intended priority areas include 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.