|From left: Ezio Perillo, Director for Legislative Affairs in the Legal Service of the European Parliament; Roberta Angelilli, Vice-President of the European Parliament Responsible for Children; and UNICEF Brussels Director Philippe Cori.|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 6 April 2011 – The European Parliament has launched a new ‘Alliance for Children’ in partnership with UNICEF and a group of international non-governmental organizations – the Children’s Rights Action Group – including Save the Children, Plan International, Eurochild and World Vision.
The alliance is an informal, cross-party effort by parliamentarians coming together to raise the profile of children’s issues in the European Parliament, which has 736 members from the 27 countries of the European Union. It aims to create synergies across committees and incorporate children’s rights into the mainstream work of the legislative body.
‘A direct impact’
Roberta Angelilli, Vice-President of the European Parliament Responsible for Children, and the chairs of seven parliamentary committees co-signed an invitation to all the Members of the European Parliament to join the Alliance for Children last month. The response reflected a wide interest in children’s issues across committees.
“Many of the decisions we take in our work as MEPs have a direct impact on the quality of children’s lives, their rights and their opportunities,” said Ms. Angelilli. “Through the establishment of this working group, we want to create a synergic action that always puts the interests and well-being of the child into the heart of all European policies.”
During the inaugural meeting of the Alliance for Children, the Legal Service of the European Parliament detailed opportunities for the parliament to build a legislative strategy on children’s rights, based on new provisions of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
|© European Parliament/2011|
|Alliance for Children is highlighted on the homepage of the European Parliament website.|
Members of the alliance also agreed to prepare a cross-committee report on the new strategy known as the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child. The European Commissioner Responsible for Children will address the next alliance meeting to present the agenda.
Meanwhile, the alliance will ask each relevant committee of the European Parliament to designate a child-rights contact person; highlight children’s issues in committee work; and liaise with the alliance to ensure that interested parliamentarians are alerted about upcoming work relating to children.
Action on behalf of children
UNICEF has prepared a draft set of ‘Principles for Parliamentarians’ that members of the Alliance for Children will be asked to sign and adopt at the group’s next meeting. The principles commit parliamentarians to use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a basis for their work – and to take at least one action on behalf of children during each parliamentary session.
The alliance was highlighted on the homepage of the European Parliament’s website, drawing further attention to its coordinating role.
The UNICEF Brussels EU Office initiated the European Parliament Alliance for Children and will facilitate its meetings, together with the Children’s Rights Action Group.
European Parliament: Alliance to protect children in Europe and beyond
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