50 professionals and officials from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway and Sweden participated in an expert meeting and training session on 7-8 December at the CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden. This was the fourth and final of a series of trainings which aim to build capacity by providing relevant tools and cross-national good practices that are rooted in international and European standards.

Each training features participants and special expertise from the host country. Per-Anders Sunesson, Ambassador at Large for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, gave his reflections on the anti-trafficking efforts at the international and Baltic Sea Regional level. Mihail Stoican, Head of Section, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, presented how to ensure that the rights and principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are reflected in all laws and policies. The meeting once again featured a role play using up and coming technology developed by Pär Stihl, Institute of Police Education, Linnaeus University, Sweden.

Helmut Sax, Member of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), shared the progress in developing an effective policy and practice against exploitation and trafficking of children.

Experts from the Baltic Sea Region briefed the meeting on the situation of child exploitation and trafficking in their countries. Further discussions looked at multi-disciplinary and inter-agency cooperation as the key for effective services, and also case assessments, information gathering and decision-making toward a durable solution, with special attention to national and cross-border assessments.

Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the training series aimed to foster networking and cooperation between officials and professionals from the Nordic countries, Baltic countries and North West Russia. The training modules, derived from the Guidelines Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases and the accompanying Practical Guide  (ENLTLVRUEEFI) are developed by Turid Heiberg, Daja Wenke and Maia Rusakova. The cooperation will continue into 2018, focusing on identification and best interest determinations, and will feature child participation.

This meeting launched the Addendum to the Guidelines. As the  Guidelines Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases publication is envisaged as a living document, this Addendum provides an overview of some key themes and developments that emerged during the past year.

Material
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a common guiding document – Presenting the child rights principles: Non-discrimination, best interests, development and right to be heard.Sweden: The CRC Coordination Unit, Swedish Ministry of Children: How to ensure that the rights and principles of the Convention are reflected in all laws and policies? Mihail Stoican, Head of Section, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
  • Communicating with children: Skills, techniques and attitudesPär Stihl,Institute of Police Education, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Reception celebrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child hosted by the Polish Ambassador Wieslaw Tarka, in the Polish Embassy. Invited guests and speakers;
  • Emma Henriksson, Chair of the Committee on Health and Welfare, Swedish Parliament
  • Pawel Jaros, Expert on the Children’s Law and Polish Ombudsman for Children 2001-2006              
  • Multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation in child protection cases
  • Best interests’ determinations for the identification of durable solutions in cross-border cases – Case assessments, information gathering and decision-making toward a durable solution, with special attention to national and cross-border assessments.
  • Finland: The best interests of the child in the Child Welfare and the Aliens Act. Iiris Hjelt and Mikaela Lindroos, Finnish Immigration Service

    Sweden: The BBIC model promoting the best interests of the child. Katarina Munier, National Coordinator, National Board of Health and Welfare

  • Facilitators: Turid Heiberg, Maia Rusakova and Daja Wenke
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