On the 18th of June 2018, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, welcomed representatives of the eleven CBSS Member States and the European Union to the Council of the Baltic Sea States Stockholm Ministerial. At the meeting, the Heads of Delegation raised awareness of the Baltic Sea Region as a pioneer and model region for children’s rights. By wearing the pin of the Non-violent Childhoods project, they showed their support and stated that all children should be treated with respect, dignity and kindness.
It was historic when Sweden in 1979 became the first country in the world to ban corporal punishment of children in all settings – a move which inspired the world to follow suit. Today, most CBSS member states have a full prohibition and they are now involved in preventing and responding to violence against children through the Non-violent childhoods project. This project promotes the translation of the legal ban into actions that influence the attitudes and behaviour of the public at large. The result will further empower children to live and develop in a safe environment.
The Swedish Presidency focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Stockholm Ministerial gave particular attention to the work done by the organisation across the goals, including the elimination of abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence against children. This provided a continuous arch between the Swedish and Icelandic presidencies, as, under the Icelandic CBSS Presidency 2016-2017, children’s rights were one of the priorities.
Upholding children’s rights is the obligation of all CBSS states and ensuring their safety and well-being is a core priority of the CBSS.
Read more about the project here: http://www.childrenatrisk.eu/nonviolence.
More information about the Stockholm Ministerial is available here.
The work on promoting children’s rights will be taken forward under the Latvian Presidency as the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk will celebrate 20 years of cooperation on children at risk in the region. The celebrations coincide with an international high-level conference against violence against children, organised by the Council of the Baltic Sea States and co-hosted by the Swedish Government in cooperation with the Special Representative of the UN Violence against Children.
The high-level conference and the Non-violent childhoods project are organised with co-funding from the European Union.
For more information contact Turid Heiberg