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Call to turn policies and standards into reality for all children in Europe

DUBROVNIK, Croatia, 27 March 2014 — At the opening of a Council of Europe Conference on child rights today, UNICEF invited European Governments and partners to transform child rights policies and standards into reality for all children in Europe.

UNICEF Regional Director, Ms Marie-Pierre Poirier, at the conference in Dubrovnik - Croatian Ministry of Social Policy & Youth / 2014 

“The mid-term review of the Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the upcoming 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are opportunities to assess what has been achieved and where we need to focus our attention,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Marie-Pierre Poirier.

Speaking about persisting challenges in protecting children’s rights in Europe, Ms. Poirier highlighted several key issues: lack of access to health care for disadvantaged children, placement of children in institutional care, violence against children, impact of the economic crisis on the most vulnerable families, insufficient support for children in contact with the justice system as well as the need to develop integrated child protection systems. 

In the face of so many challenges, Ms.Poirier presented some good practices showing that the realization of child rights is not an impossible dream.

“Our common aim should now be to turn such exceptional practices into the norm for all children. Only then will all children grow up to their full potential, only then will Europe grow for and with children,” she added.

In the margins of the conference, Ms. Poirier met with Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Policy and Youth Milanka Opacic and Deputy Minister of Justice Sandra Artukovic-Kunst. 

The full statement by UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Director Marie-Pierre Poirier can be downloaded here



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