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Ensuring justice and protection for all children

Principal of the Child Protection Center, Assoc. Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, Ph. D., and deputy principal, Domagoj Štimac, Psychiatrist,  participated in the Fundamental rights conference 2010 – Ensuring justice and protection for all children, in Brussels, 7 – 8 December 2010.

Through working groups they shared their experience of multidisciplinary approach in working with abused and neglected children.

Working groups included the following topics:

• Child victims of domestic violence

• Separated and unaccompanied, asylum seeking children

• Child victims of trafficking

• Children with intellectual disabilities

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is an advisory body of the European Union. It was established  in March 2007 and it is based in Vienna, Austria. The FRA helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected. It does this by collecting evidence about the situation of fundamental rights across the European Union and providing advice, based on  evidence, about how to improve the situation. The FRA also informs people about their fundamental rights. In doing so, it helps to make the fundamental rights a reality for everyone in the European Union.

The role of the FRA

In providing evidence based assistance and expertise on issues of fundamental rights to EU institutions and Member States when implementing EU law, the FRA has devoted particular attention to the rights of the child , including the protection of children. This is one of the current main thematic areas of work of the Agency, as requested by the Council of the European Union.

On the basis of this mandate, and as a request from the Commission, the Agency started work on developing indicators for the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the European Union. This work provides an initial toolkit to evaluate the impact of adopted EU law and policy on children’s status and experience. It highlights the limitations and gaps in current provision and data, and provides a springboard for future legal, policy and research development. The indicators are based on a distinctly child-focused approach, anchored in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and are formulated in response to the existing EU framework. They cover the areas of: family environment and alternative care; protection from exploitation and violence; adequate standard of living;  education, culture, citizenship and participation in activities relating to school and sport. In doing so, they identify as crucial such aspects as the existence of child-sensitive family justice processes, the adoptability of immigration processes to the vulnerabilities of separated children, and the identification and protection of victims of child trafficking, sexual and economic exploitation and violence.