The theme for the 17th Informal ASEM (Asia-Europe Foundation) Seminar on Human Rights was “Human Rights and Children”. Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the event took place on 7-9 November 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria, bringing together civil society experts and government representatives from 51 Asian and European countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat, to discuss the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.

The year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights project series. To mark this occasion, the co-organisers introduced a new capacity-building component, utilising the Seminar outcomes to train government officials. Mia Roje, mag.psych. from Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb was invited by the organizers to represent Croatia and contribute in discussing children participation and children right to be heard. The difference between chidlren’s right to participate and often imposed obligation to express their will was emphasized, in order to avoid misusing children’s rights and hurting children emotionally.

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