Today, the Children’s Commissioner’s office is pleased to be attending the Spring Seminar of the European Network of Children’s Commissioners (ENOC) in Warsaw, Poland. This Network is a collective group of Children’s Commissioners across Europe, who work together to advocate for children in each of their countries and work collectively at an international level to protect children’s rights.
At ENOC this week, we will be hearing an update on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and what is being done to support displaced children across Europe, including a discussion on the key challenges faced in different countries. It was an honour for the Commissioner to be able to hear directly from Ukrainian children at Great Ormond Street Hospital the other week.
At ENOC, we will then turn to a discussion on the Climate Crisis and how this relates to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The environment was a key issue raised by children’s responses to The Big Ask, the largest-ever consultation with children which we ran last year. Children are passionate about protecting our planet and want to have a say on this and other major issues affecting our world. Just over 1 in 5 children (22%) chose ‘a healthy environment and planet’ as one of their top priorities for having a good life when they grow up. That is why, last year the Commissioner took children’s voices to COP26 and has chosen to make ‘A Better World’ a key pillar of the office’s work over the next five years. Now, this is an opportunity to take children’s voices and views on this important topic to ENOC too.
Finally, at ENOC we will be discussing the role of Independent Children’s Rights Organisations, like our Children’s Commissioner’s office. This is a chance to share ideas with other similar organisations across Europe about how to use our statutory powers and responsibilities to make a difference for children. Sharing insights with other organisations like ourselves across Europe is a fantastic way to learn about children’s experiences and views in other countries and take these ideas back to inform our work.