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					                                              Brussels Office
                                                Newsletter
                                          Issue 81: February 2005

In this Issue:

   Child rights violations in Serbia
   Save the Children response to Development Policy Statement review
   Child safety and the internet
   Combating organised crime
   Council of Europe questions the need for a Fundamental Rights Agency
   No Child Participation at the European Parliament
   News in Brief
   Calls for Proposals
   New Publications
   Forthcoming Events


Introduction
Welcome to the February issue of the Save the Children Brussels Office Newsletter which
provides information on the activities of the Brussels office as well as on the latest EU policy
developments on children’s rights.

This month, Save the Children Brussels office is pleased to welcome Hans Lind who joins us from
Save the Children Sweden. Hans is replacing Olivia Lind Haldorsson, who is on maternity leave.
He can be contacted on hans-savechildbru@skynet.be

This Newsletter is written by Mary Bermingham (Information and Administration Officer), Diana
Sutton (European Officer) and Hans Lind (Policy Officer). The Newsletter is free and can be
received by E-mail or by post. Articles can be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged.

Please distribute this newsletter widely within your organisation and let Mary Bermingham know if
you would like to be placed on the mailing list on tel. + 32 2 512 7851, fax + 32 2 513 4903, E-mail:
savechildbru@skynet.be or on our website at: http://www.savethechildren.net/brussels




      Brussels Office, Rue Montoyer 39, 1000 Brussels Belgium Tel: +32 2 512 78 51 Fax: + 32 2 513 49 03 E-mail:
                              savechildbru@skynet.be www.savethechildren.net/brussels
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                              Child rights violations in Serbia

Save the Children representatives met with the office of the European Commission’s Enlargement
Commissioner, to discuss issues raised in a Save the Children briefing on Child Rights in Serbia.
The briefing aims to inform the European Commission’s approach to Serbia, particularly the
feasibility report, due this spring, on Serbia and Montenegro’s capacity to negotiate and implement
a Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Save the Children believes that it will be more
beneficial to the EU, and to children, if social policy and child rights are incorporated into the
Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) as early as possible.

Save the Children recommends that the European Commission ensures that children’s issues are
included in the feasibility study and SAP so that progress can be monitored and where appropriate
guidance and assistance given. The Stabilisation and Association Agreements should require, and
include arrangements for monitoring progress towards the full implementation of the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other International Treaties ratified by Serbia and
Montenegro. The feasibility report could lay the foundations for this by taking up a number of
specific child rights issues that would lead to more effective systems for protecting children.

The briefing highlights important issues such as the exclusion of children with disabilities and
children belonging to minorities, most notably Roma children, from the mainstream education
system, and calls on the Commission to demand action to eliminate such discrimination.
Residential care is still used as a measure of first resort in child care and there are concerns of
abuses within the juvenile justice system.

To ensure the provision of an effective social policy and the protection of child rights, Save the
Children believes that the Serbian authorities must:

   •   Establish an Office of Ombudsperson for Children.
   •   Strengthen the structure of National Council for Children.

The Commission should include social policy reform as a short-term priority and should request
Serbia to:
      • Reform the childcare system, to systematically reduce the number of children in
           institutional care.
      • Reform the juvenile justice system.
      • Reform the school systems to ensure access to quality inclusive education for all
           minority children.
      • Show measurable progress in the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream primary
           and pre-school education.

For more information contact Stefan Stoyanov at S.Stoyanov@savethechildren.org.uk


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      Save the Children response to Development Policy Statement review

Save the Children has responded to the review of the European Commission’s “Joint Development
Policy Statement”, 2000.

The development Commissioner, Louis Michel, has called for this review due to changing global
challenges since 2000, as well as new political priorities for the EU. This review comes at a crucial
time, as negotiations for the EU budget, including development, for 2007-2013 are underway. The
EU is also preparing for the Millennium Declaration stocktaking exercise which will take place in
New-York this September and which will face the shocking reality that more children than ever are
now living in poverty. Save the Children is currently preparing a shadow report on progress made
in EU policy towards achieving the MDGs.

To ensure that the Commission’s development strategy promotes and protects children’s rights In
its response, Save the Children calls for the Commission to:

      •   Prioritise children’s rights in the revised DPS
      •   Integrate a specific child focus in the EU’s contribution to the achievements of the MDGs
      •   Issue a communication on children’s rights and EC Development Policy outlining an
          Action Plan for Children

Save the Children also contributed to the consultations through the CONCORD network. The
consultations will run until 2 March 2005. The European Commission has also drafted a so called
Issues Paper which identifies the key issues for debate. Internet consultation will remain open until
9 March.

The Save the Children response to the review is available at:
http://www.savethechildren.net/alliance/where_we_work/europubs/DPS2000RevisionandChildrenS
tatement.pdf
Further information is also available from Hans Lind at hans-savechildbru@skynet.be

Further information on the review, including the consultation process and Issues Paper is available
at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/development/body/theme/consultation/index_en.htm


                                Child safety and the Internet

The UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography has
published an advanced edited report focusing on Child Pornography on the Internet. The report
is based on information received from Governments, international organisations and NGOs. Save
the Children made a significant contribution to the report and the report draws on the Position
Paper on child pornography and Internet-related sexual exploitation of children produced by Save
the Children.
The report is available from:

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http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/children/rapporteur/annual05.htm.
For more information on Save the Children’s work in this area contact Diana Sutton at: Diana-
savechildbru@skynet.be


Events to mark Safer Internet Day 2005 were held in 30 countries worldwide on February 8th.
Safer Internet Day is part of a global drive to promote safer internet use for all users, especially
young people. It is organised by the European internet safety network, INSAFE, which is
coordinated by European Schoolnet and co-funded by the European Commission’s Safer Internet
Programme.
For further information INSAFE and Safer Internet Day go to:
http://www.saferinternet.org/ww/en/pub/insafe/index.htm
For more on the Safer Internet Programme go to:
http://europa.eu.int/information_society/activities/sip/index_en.htm


Findings of an extensive 2 year study on UK children and the internet, carried out by the
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) have been compiled in three reports.
The first report presents qualitative research findings drawing on 14 focus groups with children.
The second presents the results of face to face surveys, carried out with 1511 children aged from
9 to 19, and of 906 parents of 9 to 17 year olds. The third report examines more closely the nature
of children’s internet use.
The reports, and further, information are available from: http://www.children-go-online.net/


                                Combating organised crime

EU governments are considering draft rules to harmonise legislation on the retention of
communications traffic data by services providers, being proposed in a Council Draft Framework
Decision (8954/04). The proposals, which would oblige service providers to retain certain kinds of
data for a minimum of 12 months, for possible use by police in preventing, investigating and
detecting crime, are intended to counter the increased threat from cross border crime and
terrorism and to fight crimes such as trafficking and child pornography. June 2005 has been set as
the deadline for adopting this decision, which will require the agreement of all member states.

The Draft Framework Decision is available by searching for document 8958/04 on:
http://ue.eu.int/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=549&lang=EN&mode=g


This Draft Framework Decision is part of a series of EU initiatives being proposed for a joint
approach to fighting crime. Others include a European Commission proposal for a Framework
Decision to harmonise the definition of a criminal organisation and to ensure severe penalties for
people involved in organised crime, (adopted 19 January). On 25 January the European
Commission also approved a White Paper on Exchanges of Information on Convictions and the
Effects of such Convictions in the EU. The White Paper proposes the setting up of a computerised
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mechanism for the exchange of information on criminal convictions between member states. It
aims to ensure that criminals can no longer benefit from legal loopholes and differences between
member states.

More      information   is  available   on     the    European    Commission’s          web-site   at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/fsj/crime/fsj_crime_intro_en.htm


    Council of Europe questions the need for a Fundamental Rights Agency

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Terry Davis, has warned European leaders
about the increasing risk of duplication in the area of human rights monitoring. Mr Davis criticised,
what he sees as overlap between the EU, the OSCE and the Council of Europe in this area.

In its response to the European Commission’s consultation on the powers and mandate of its
proposed ‘Fundamental Rights Agency’, EURONET expressed similar concern over a possible
conflict of competences in supervising the implementation of children's rights in the EU. It
proposed that a memorandum of understanding should define the link between Human Rights
institutions working at European level, and also that with the UN.

A draft regulation on the agency’s powers and mandate will be tabled in May 2005.

For further information on the agency go to the European Commission’s web-site at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/news/consulting_public/fundamental_rights_agency/index
_en.htm

More information on EURONET’s work in this area is available from Mieke Schuurman at
mieke.schuurman@tiscali.nl.



                  No Child Participation in the European Parliament

A group of Swedish and Danish schoolchildren visiting Brussels got a quick lesson in just how
difficult it is for children to participate in political arenas.

On arrival at the European Parliament building, they were informed that they were too young to be
allowed to enter! Only people over 14 years are allowed access to the European Parliament. The
group, of six 11 and 12 year olds, was accompanied by 3 teachers. They were in Brussels as part
of a project on “E-Space - School partnership in Europe”.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which all EU member states have ratified, affirms that
children have the right to be listened to, and to participate in decision making processes as
citizens and stakeholders and future decision makers. The right to access the European
Parliament is one which should be enjoyed by all EU citizens, including children, our future MEPs.
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The children will now contact national MEPs, as well as Swedish Commissioner Wallström to find
out why some Europeans are excluded from visiting the European Parliament.

Information on visiting the European Parliament is available from:
http://www.europarl.eu.int/abc/visit/visit_en.htm


                                         News in Brief

On 22 February, the European Commission adopted a favourable Opinion on the Accession of
Bulgaria and Romania to the EU. Following the successful conclusion of accession negotiation
by the European Council in December and finalisation of the Treaty of Accession earlier this
month, this is the first step towards signing the treaty.

The European Commission has adopted a green paper entitled “An EU approach to managing
economic migration”. Its aim is to stimulate a public debate on the need to develop a
comprehensive EU strategy on this issue. Contributions can be submitted up to 15 April 2005 and
a public hearing will be organised in July 2005. Further information is available on the European
Commission’s website at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/news/consulting_public/news_consulting_public_en.htm

Jean-Marie Cavada has been elected to replace Jean-Louis Bourlanges as chairman of the
European Civil Liberties Committee. He is a member of the ALDE group.

The European Commission has organised a Green Week schools competition. It is open to
children from new member states and candidate countries that are between 6 and 16 years. The
theme of the competition is climate change. For details go to www.eun.org


                                      Calls for Proposals

The annual programme and call for proposals 2005, for specific projects, under the Framework
Programme for Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters, has been published. Call for proposals for
support to the activities of NGOs will be published in April 2005. Activities can include, promoting
judicial cooperation, improving mutual knowledge of member states legal and judicial systems,
ensuring sound use of Community instruments and improving information to the public on access.
The deadline for the submission of applications, for specific projects, is 8 April 2005:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/funding/civil_cooperation/funding_civil_cooperation_en.ht
m
A call for proposals, to implement the priority actions defined in the 2005 Work Plan of the Public
Health programme (2003–2008), has been launched. The call is open to member states,
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candidate countries and EFTA-EEA countries. A focus for 2005 will be the promotion of good
practice in childhood and adult immunisation programmes, to support existing vaccines and to
bolster public confidence. The deadline for submitting applications is 15 April 2005.
For more information go to:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph_programme/howtoapply/call_for_propal_en.htm


                                         New Website

The Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Directorate General of the European
Commission has launched a new web-site on social dialogue. The site is available at
http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/social_dialogue/


                                          Publications

Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005 published by UNICEF reviews the proportion of children
living in poverty in developed economies. It asks what is driving poverty rates upwards and why
OECD countries are not doing a better job of protecting children at risk. The report is available
from UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre: Tel: +39 055 20330, Fax: +39 055 244817 or by e-mail,
florenceorders@unicef.org

Freedom, Security and Justice for Separated Children, reports on the European Conference
which took place on 3 November 2004 in Brussels. The conference was organised by Defence for
Children International / the Netherlands, in cooperation with the Separated Children in Europe
Programme, Save the Children and DCI Belgium. For more information contact:
info@defenceforchildren.nl

UNICEF has published a summary report entitled Study on the Impact of the Implementation of
the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It examines whether the implementation of the CRC,
and whether it has made a real impact on the daily lives of children. The study is available from
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre: Tel: +39 055 20330, Fax: +39 055 244817 or by e-mail,
florenceorders@unicef.org

                                     Forthcoming Events

Act against Racism Week: European Wide Action Week against Racism
14-21March 2005
Awareness raising activities will be held throughout Europe. March 21 is the UN international day
for the elimination against all forms of racism. Activities in Europe are being coordinated by
UNITED. For more information contact UNITED, Postbus 413, NL-1000 AK Amsterdam. Phone:
+31 20 6834778, Fax: +31 20 6834582. E-mail: infor@unitedagainstracism.org. Web-site
www.unitedagainstracism.org
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Anti- Trafficking Conference – Focus on children: High level Conference
18 March 2005, Vienna
Under the framework of the Alliance on Trafficking in Persons, the OSCE are organising this high
level conference focusing on children. For more information contact the Office of the OSCE
Special Representative on combating trafficking in human beings, on Tel: + 43 1 51436510, Fax:
+43 1 514366298

Child Rights Advocacy within the Enlarged European Union: Regional Seminar
19 March 2005, Warsaw
This is the first of 3 regional seminars being organised by EURONET, the European Children’s
Network. For more information contact Simona de Lisi. Tel: +322 512 1396, Fax: 322 513 4903 or
by e-mail at europeanchildrenetwork@skynet.be

HIV / AIDS: Conference for young people
20 April 2005, Brussels
UNICEF Belgium are organising this conference for children and young people. It is intended to
provide a forum for young people to express their views on HIV / AIDS in Belgium and worldwide.
For more information contact Maud Dominicy, Child Rights Officer, UNICEF Belgium, by e-mail at
info@whatdoyouthink.be

Kids in Prison – A child rights Perspective: Conference
27-29 June 2005, Bethlehem
Organised by Defence for Children International/ Palestine Section, this conference will focus on
juvenile justice and the challenges facing children in prison. For more information contact George
Abu Al-Zulof, Defence for Children International/ Palestine Section. Tel: +972 2 240 7530, Fax:
+972 2 240 7018




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