The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
“The Smile of the Child” contributes to the 11th European Forum on the rights of the child
As every year “The Smile of the Child” took part in the forum and contributed to the discussions through its direct experience on the ground of child protection. This year’s topic focused on the issue of children deprived of their liberty and alternatives to detention and brought together key actors from EU Member States, international organizations, civil society actors, Ombudsperson for children, practitioners, academics and EU institutions.
On 7 November 2017, plenary addresses by representatives of EU Institutions and international organizations discussed on the legal and policy contexts at European and international level. On 8 November parallel sessions addressed the issues of children in conflict with law, children in immigration detention, children in institutions (deprived of parental care, with disabilities, mental health problems) and children of parents in prison.
“The Smile of the Child” shared its experience from dealing with the needs and challenges in the midst of the major refugee humanitarian situation in the country. “The Smile of the Child” drew attention to the fact that refugees and migrants are currently trapped in Greece, including children and families that have been placed to camps and apartments across the country remaining invisible to society. The Organization focused on the need for providing alternative solutions to children in detention based on a holistic approach that adequately responds to the needs of education, healthcare and social support.
In addition, “The Smile of the Child” expressed its concerns over the “alternative solution” of a de facto detention in camps and “hotspots” and hope that the European Commission and the National Programs of Asylum, Migration and Integration Funds will put forward their policies accordingly in line with the principles of this holistic approach on the alternatives for the detention of migrant children.