In Europe DCI sections continue to work to uphold children’s rights, particularly among vulnerable groups. To achieve this they lead both national and joint regional projects and advocacy efforts, interacting with the European Commission, European Parliament in Brussels as well as the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
DCI holds consultative status for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), is a member of various working groups (on Child-friendly Justice, Follow-up committee on the Council’s Child Rights strategy) within the Council of Europe, and has worked closely with the European Commission to inform their new 2021-2024 Strategy on the Rights of the Child. Most recently, DCI Europe Regional Desk has contributed to a Position paper on Child-friendly justice, has led consultations with children to feed into the EU ROC Strategy…for example. DCI is also an active member of the CRAG (Child Rights Advocacy Group) and the Initiative for Children in Migration.
DCI sections in Europe have also established the Child-Friendly Justice European Network (CFJ-EN), officially launched in 2019 in the margins of the European Forum on the Rights of the Child, in the presence of representatives of the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC). The Network currently counts 15 active members, including the seven European sections of DCI but also other organisations working for the promotion of child-friendly justice.
Between 2018-2020, all European sections implemented the ‘Child-friendly Justice in action’ project, funded by the ERASMUS+ programme. The project sought to assess the child-friendliness of administrative proceedings involving children in migration (asylum hearings) and/or divorces, both through the lenses of professionals and children and young people.