At a glance: France

France launches workshop series on protection of vulnerable children

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© UNICEF France
France launched in Paris the ‘General State of Childhood Affairs’ – a series of workshops on the condition of vulnerable children in the country. The workshops will involve local officials, government partners and professionals working in the field of child protection.

PARIS, France, 26 February 2010 – French Secretary of State for Family and Solidarity Nadine Morano recently launched the ‘General State of Childhood Affairs’ – a series of workshops on the condition of vulnerable children here. The workshops involve local officials, government partners and professionals working in the field of child protection.

Ms. Morano had first announced the workshop series on 20 November 2009, during the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The series aims to develop a plan of action on strengthening child protection in France.

In his opening statement during the programme’s launch, UNICEF France Chairman Jacques Hintzy said millions of children in the country – especially those from diverse backgrounds – were living in poverty and exclusion. And tens of thousands of teenagers have expressed their anxiety about the future, he added.

Mr. Hintzy advocated for a “true policy benefiting children in France, and the implementation of an overall strategy associating all of the concerned actors in a common direction.”

Fight against exclusion
Experts estimate that more than 2 million French children live below the European poverty line. There are tens of thousands of reported cases of at-risk children annually, and hundreds of thousands of children are entrusted to social service agencies to protect them from harmful living environments.

UNICEF France is working to help address this situation by sharing its expertise and working with partners and institutional officials, particularly those engaged in child-welfare advocacy and the fight against exclusion.

At the launch of the General State of Childhood Affairs workshops, UNICEF France reaffirmed its support for one of the newest pieces of national legislation on child protection. The law, passed on 5 March 2007, presents guidelines for local officials to notify authorities when minors are in difficult social situations or under psychological duress.

“We hope that the spirit of this text and its initial intentions to be completely preserved, while improving the terms of its application,” said Mr. Hintzy.


 

 

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