ENS joins 22 child rights organisations calling on European election candidates to champion children’s rights and #VoteforChildren


A coalition of 23 organisations working on child rights in the EU through the Child Rights Action Group has launched a manifesto  urging candidates for the upcoming European Parliament elections to prioritise and safeguard children's rights across all EU policies and actions.

ENS joins 22 child rights organisations calling on European election candidates to champion children’s rights and #VoteforChildren

With the objective of mobilising candidates to promote and protect children’s rights throughout the next legislature, child rights experts are calling on future Members of the European Parliament to commit to become Child Rights Champions.

In its manifesto, the coalition - which includes the European Network on Statelessness - insists the EU must tackle the issue of childhood statelessness, among other key issues. It is estimated that a stateless child is born somewhere in the world every 10 minutes. Under the Child Rights Convention, all European States have a duty to ensure that every child acquires a nationality. But still children are growing up in Europe without the protection that a legal identity and nationality provide. For children affected, statelessness means a childhood marked by difficulty accessing rights and services, denied opportunities, unfulfilled potential, and a sense of never quite belonging. It is harder to protect children from abuse and exploitation if they are stateless and lack identity documents. It brings hardship and anguish to children and their families alike. Yet, childhood statelessness is thoroughly preventable. Good practice exists and with political will, some changes to nationality laws, and a strong focus on implementation, Europe could end childhood statelessness this generation.

The #VoteforChildren manifesto calls on prospective MEPs to commit to a range of concrete actions as #ChildRightsChampions if elected. These include:

  • Mainstreaming and protecting children’s rights, prioritise the best interests of the child and adopt a child rights-based approach as fundamental principles guiding all EU decisions, actions and investments

  • Breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality by investing in children

  • Engaging with children by ensuring rights-based, meaningful, inclusive, safe child participation.

What are the next steps of the campaign?

The Child Rights Manifesto and the results of a consultation with children around Europe are being disseminated in countries with candidates to the EU elections. For ENS’s part, we will actively promote the manifesto and the message it carries among our own stakeholders and network. We also plan to engage with newly elected MEPs to raise awareness about statelessness more broadly, including to promote the main messages of the #VoteforChildren campaign and keep pushing for a European Union that leaves no child behind.

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