Children’s rights, child welfare policy and international child welfare work
The CUCW seeks to ensure that children may enjoy their rights nationally and internationally. Particular interest is in the relationship between political decision-making and the attainment of the rights of the child, and in promoting children’s participation in society at large. The monitoring and development of the implementation of international treaties concerning children, above all the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are also important.
A key item on the international agenda of the CUCW is safeguarding the best interests of the child in European legislation, programmes and agreements. Poverty and social exclusion faced by children are monitored from the EU perspective.
The CUCW promotes the attainment of the rights of the child:
- by maintaining public debate on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and by collating the NGO response (additional or optional report) to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning implementation of the Convention in Finland
- by monitoring the execution of policy and development programmes at the national and local levels
- by influencing decision-making and legislation for instance by issuing statements
- by monitoring the work of the EU and the Council of Europe to promote the rights of the child
The international aspect is included in all aspects of the CUCW’s activities, which include:
- conveying information to member organisations, interest groups and the central government
- representing Finnish child welfare actors in international contexts
- acting as a link to European and international organisations
The CUCW is:
- the national NGO partner in Finland of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
- a member of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is based in Geneva and promotes and assists implementation of the Convention
The CUCW participates in the public debate on the status of immigrant children and undertakes measures against any anomalies discovered. Specifically, the CUCW is prepared to defend children who cannot attain their rights in full, who are at risk of social exclusion or who do not have access to the services they need.
The CUCW promotes the right of separated children arriving in the country without their parents (or other legal or customary primary caregiver) to receive protection and services without discrimination. A European perspective on this matter is sought through participation in the Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP). The SCEP has been working to defend separated children and to improve their status in Europe since 1997.
Neighbouring area cooperation in Russian Karelia
The CUCW has been engaging in project cooperation to improve child welfare conditions in the Republic of Karelia in Russia since 1997. The roots of this cooperation go back to the days of the Soviet Union, the late 1980s. These projects have attracted widespread attention and recognition in Karelia and more widely in Russia too.
These efforts are being coordinated by the Child Rights and International Child Welfare Advisory Board chaired by Hanna Markkula-Kivisilta, Secretary General of Save the Children Finland.
Hanna Heinonen, Programme Director
Taina Martiskainen, Senior Advisor