On 7 February 2017, the Children at Risk Unit at the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat hosted the kick-off meeting for the Non-violent Childhoods project. The participants included project partners, representatives from the member States of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), representatives of Ombudsman Offices as well as leading experts from the Baltic Sea Region.

The meeting was opened by Bragi Guðbrandsson, Director of the Government Agency for Child Protection of Iceland and current Chair of the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk during the Icelandic Chairmanship of the CBSS.

Tríona Lenihan represented the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children which focuses strongly on legal reform processes to prohibit corporal punishment of children. At present, there are 52 states in the world that have a legal prohibition in place, with Lithuania joining the list recently in February 2017.

Turid Heiberg, Head of the Children’s Unit at the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat, introduced the project with its objectives, vision and aspirations. The Baltic Sea Region is fast developing into a no corporal punishment region as now 10 out of 11 Member States have already enacted the legal prohibition.

Throughout the day, presentations and input were given by amongst others Tríona Lenihan, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, Staffan Janson, Universities of Karlstad and Uppsala, Sweden and representatives of Save the Children, Sweden.

Additionally, three work groups had time to discuss issues concerning communication, the planing and form of the expert consultations as well as the national consultation.

Please find all the relevant documents and presentations of the meeting below.