martedì 30 giugno 2009

The rights of the child, including the protection of children

The rights of the child, including the protection of children. One of the key concerns in this area is the situation of children who are victims of trafficking. Problems surrounding this issue will not be dealt with here since the FRA’s study on child trafficking is summarised in this report.(see section 5.2) The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse is currently open for ratification. This treaty takes into account EU legislation including the Council Decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography of 2003. One of the most debated provisions includes an obligation to ensure those whose work involves regular contact with children are screened to verify the absence of existing convictions for sexual exploitation or abuse of children. The EU Council of Ministers Justice and Home Affairs Council of 27 and 28 November 2008 adopted the Conclusions on “Child Alert” on the basis of the guide on good practices developed by the Commission. The Conclusions of the Council invite all Member States to establish and develop national mechanisms to alert the public in criminal cases of abduction of children, to define modalities for the implementation of a cross-border system, and to use as basis for the establishment and development of these systems the best practices established by the European Commission. Significant progress has been achieved in respect to the establishment of the European Financial Coalition. This organisation will have an objective of addressing the commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of children online by implementing a monitoring system with the support of parties involved in internet payment systems and hampering the merchant side of this growing business, and assisting internet service providers and internet payment systems providers to combat the abuse of their systems for the purchase of child exploitation or abuse images and hampering the consumer side of the problem. The new Safer Internet Programme covering the period 2009-2013 was proposed by the European Commission on 28 February 2008 and was adopted on 9 December 2008 to protect children in the ever-more sophisticated online world, and empower them to safely use web services such as social networking, blogging and instant messaging. A current issue of concern is the conditions of detention for children while awaiting decisions on asylum applications or removal. The Directive on Common Standards and Procedures for third country nationals, in line with existing Council of Europe guidelines, provides for detention of minors only as a last resort and for as short a time period as possible, with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration. Families shall be guaranteed adequate privacy and separate accommodation and minors should have access to leisure and educational facilities. Authorities should endeavour to provide personnel and facilities to meet the needs of unaccompanied minors. Member States may benefit from clarification of the requirements to be met for conditions for children to be considered ‘adequate’. Guidance can be sought from Council of Europe and UN bodies, such as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, particularly where the latter have had occasion to address a Member State in the context of monitoring existing international commitments.
(Tratto da: FRA-European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Annual Report 2009, pp. 72-74)

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