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RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

In its foreign policy, Slovenia has for many years staunchly advocated the promotion and protection of rights of the child. Its endeavours in this area have increased its visibility in the international community, particularly in international organisations such as the UN, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe. More recently, Slovenia has also advocated the issue of children and armed conflict within NATO discussions. Slovenia is one of the most active EU member states in developing the Common Foreign and Security Policy in the field of the rights of the child.

 

Foreign policy focuses on areas such as the protection of children against violence, including during armed conflict and in post-conflict situations, and their empowerment, also by supporting the project on human rights education entitled 'Our Rights'. Slovenia strove for the empowerment of children as one of the initiators of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure, which established the procedure to bring complaints about violations of the rights of the child to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. It also devotes special attention to the situation of girls, who in many parts of the world are often at greater risk of violations than boys.

 

In the UN children's rights framework, Slovenia is most actively involved in the UN Human Rights Council, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council. Between 2009 and 2011 (and in the earlier period 2003–2005) Slovenia was a member of the Unicef Executive Board, which it chaired in 2011.

 

In Geneva, Slovenia – together with Germany – chairs an informal group on the rights of the child. It is a member of the groups of countries, friends of the offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children (SRSG) and Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict. 

 

In the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Slovenia contributes to the European Union External Action in the field of the rights of the child, also with regard to the implementation of the EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict and EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child. The latter guidelines were adopted by the Council of the European Union during the Slovenian Presidency in 2008. In 2012, Slovenia was one of the countries that proposed the discussion on the protection of children and armed conflict in the framework of NATO.

 

Within the Council of Europe, Slovenia launched an initiative to declare a European day against sexual abuse of children in order to raise the awareness of this problem and contribute to improving the implementation of the Lanzarote Convention.

 

In 2014, the Ministry joined the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with various activities, thus enhancing the promotion and protection of the rights of the child globally. In Geneva in March 2014, together with a few other countries Slovenia organised a special event; and on the margins of the 24th National Children's Parliament, Slovenian children and teenagers At the beginning of April, the Ministry, together with the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth, organised a round-table discussion where participants of the 24th National Children's Parliament shared their views on the implementation of the Convention, and their recommendations for improving the enforcement of particular rights in Slovenia as well as worldwide. The Ministry published a compendium of articles by Slovenian experts titled 'Rights of the child in Slovenia'.

 

In 2014, Minister Erjavec joined the international internet campaign #ENDviolence against children, and attended the Conference on Child and Youth Participation in the National Assembly. In Geneva in May 2014, Slovenia – with a number of other countries, UNICEF and NGOs – held an event on the promotion of children's rights through the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. 

 

In addition to its activities within international organisations, Slovenia strives for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child by supporting projects aimed at promoting the rights of the child and improving children's welfare in the framework of international development and humanitarian assistance in various parts of the world.