Protecting unaccompanied children in a manner that we can be proud of:
Council of the Baltic Sea States and Central European Initiative join efforts to disseminate best practices
On 8-9 December 2016 the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Central European Initiative (CEI) hosted 60 representatives from UN-agencies, international & local organisations, and 27 Northern, Central and South-East European countries. Together they shared good practices in protecting unaccompanied children with the aim of finding solutions for unaccompanied children, their families, and the societies and states they interact with.
Ms Sara Roxell, Political Advisor to the Office of the Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Sweden, gave a keynote speech, in which she informed the participants on the position of the Government of Sweden and also the situation and learnings from recent years. Hamza Ibrahim, Chair of the Association for Unaccompanied Children, presented what his organisation does and how the Swedish social society inspired them to organise.
At the meeting, the CBSS Guidelines Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases were officially launched.
Ambassador Guðmundur Árni Stefánsson, Chair of The Icelandic Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Ambassador Milos Prica, Coordinator of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency of the Central European Initiative, and Mr. Ugo Poli, Project Manager at Central European Initiative Executive Secretariat, met on the side-lines of the conference. They took note of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two regional organisations and discussed future cooperation on the themes of sustainable development, science cooperation, trafficking in human beings, and children at risk.
The Icelandic Ambassador to Sweden, Estrid Brekkan, kindly hosted a reception for the conference at her residence.
The conclusions from the conference identified standards in quality that will enhance the protection of unaccompanied children transiting and arriving in the CBSS and CEI member states and safeguard their human rights as afforded under international, European and national law.