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: Children and young people share their vision at the European Parliament for the Europe they want
On this Universal Children’s Day, children and young people from across Europe including volunteers from YOUSMILE, the European Student Volunteer Network joined members of the European Parliament under the auspices of its President, Mr. Antonio Tajani for a debate on the theme of “The Europe We Want.”
The President of Malta, HE Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and representatives of children rights’ organizations participated in the event that was organized by the Parliament's Intergroup on Children's Rights with support from Eurochild and UNICEF.
Together with children and young people from across Europe YOUSMILE participates in Eurochild Children’s Council (ECC) and its Child Participation Reference Group (CPRG) with the aim to promote the voice of children and be taken into consideration in the decisions taken at the European level.
During the event children posed questions to a panel of policy makers and Members of the European Parliament resulting to a fruitful dialogue among participants. In addition, each child had a meeting with a MEP of the country he/she represented. Some of the topics they discussed with the MEPs were: lowering the voting age, teaching human rights in schools, protecting the rights of refugee and migrant children, increase participation of children and young people on national and international level.
Our volunteer/YouSmiler Konstantinos (16 years) met with Greek MEP, Miltos Kyrkos. They talked about the need of ensuring children’s participation on national and international level and the chances that young people have in order to make their voice heard. Konstantinos also informed Mr Kyrkos about YouSmile and its actions. Mr. Kyrkos shared with Konstantinos some ideas and they both concluded that after their meeting, Konstantinos is going to inform the Greek member of the EP about Yousmile and the ideas of Yousmilers in order to make their voice taken into consideration.
During the meetings of groups the main topic was the planning of the teams until 2019. The CPRG and the ECC members worked together for the creation of an advocacy toolkit through which children will organize awareness raising campaigns easily and successfully in order to finally participate in the decision making process.
From now on, the ECC and the CPRG member will work on campaigns around three main topics (Child Poverty, Alternative Care and Children’s Rights and Participation) and on planning the next biannual Eurochild conference that will take place in Croatia.
The next meetings are arranged for the April of 2018. There, the ECC will give feedback on Eurochild’s future strategic plan. The ECC and the CPRG will continue their work online as well as in person during several meetings in Brussels and Croatia.
You can see here the video of the event created by the European Parliament