On the 7th and 8th of May the Children at Risk Expert Group held the second and last meeting under the Latvian Presidency of CBSS before it is handed over to Denmark on the 1st of July. CBSS Children at Risk Group expressed their gratitude to Lauris Neikens from the Latvian Ministry of Welfare for a year of great work of steering the agenda. The representatives also thanked Turid Heiberg, who has been the Head of the CBSS Children at Risk Unit for the last 6 years.

Children at Risk Unit’s achievements were discussed, such as efforts to
ensure the implementation of legislation prohibiting all forms of violence against children through the Non-violent Childhoods project, to strengthen guardianship systems through the Pro-Guard project and to ensure adequate support to children victims or at risk of trafficking through the PROTECT Children on the Move project.

The representatives from the CBSS member states supported
the decision to embark on the next level of the PROMISE project series – a flagship project of the EU – aiming to establish the Barnahus model in Europe. Almost all Baltic Sea Region countries have Barnahus, confirming the value of an effective multi-sectoral and inter-agency cooperation. Continuing the engagement of Children at Risk in prohibition of corporal punishment was also backed, including supporting a Europe wide project on the issue.

A study visit took the members of the Expert Group to “AIRI vecākiem”, the Riga support centre for out-of-family care and the State Inspectorate for Protection of Children’s Rights. The representatives noted the similarities between the issues that the Baltic Sea Region states face and have highlighted the benefits of the long-term collaboration that the Expert Group allows.

Snapshots from the meeting can be found here.

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