The 2020-2025 mandate and strategy of the Expert Group
The vision of the Children at Risk Expert Group for the Baltic Sea region (BSR) is that of a region where children enjoy their rights as recognised in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The vision is an integral part of the CBSS overall vision for the Baltic Sea region and forms an important contribution to the achievement of the CBSS long-term priorities.
The vision envisages effective national child protection systems offer comprehensive prevention, protection and support, thereby providing equal opportunities for all children to grow, develop and thrive free from all forms of violence. Each child has equal opportunities and is offered meaningful opportunities for participation and active involvement in building a prosperous, safe and secure region for all.
The mission of the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk is to contribute to the fulfilment of our vision for children by promoting children’s rights and bolstering national child protection systems, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from all forms of violence, through regional dialogue and practical cooperation.
The Expert Group and the CAR Unit at the CBSS Secretariat are fully committed to the mission of keeping children protected and safeguarded from actions that place them at risk of violence, abuse, exploitation, injury and any other harm.
The role of the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk embraces the two fundamental pillars of CBSS – political dialogue between States and practical cooperation based on tangible projects. The Expert Group on Children at Risk acts as convenor, driver, initiator, coordinator and facilitator to stimulate dialogue and exchange on cross-border concerns, to develop and nurture strategic partnerships and to contribute to the development and implementation of tangible projects.
The Expert Group continues to work closely with representatives from national authorities, civil society, international and regional organisations, professionals, academia and engages in close cooperation with other units at the CBSS Secretariat, such as the CBSS Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings, Baltic 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Civil Security Team.
During 2020-2025, the CAR Expert group focuses on the following consolidated strategic areas and priorities:
- Child Protection Systems: The core strategic area and priority is to promote and facilitate regional exchange on key issues of concern to the CAR Expert Group Members with the purpose of identifying and promoting actions to strengthen national child protection systems, in particular measures for prevention and early interventions to protect children at risk.
Key areas of concern to the expert group include alternative care, children with disabilities, children in migration, poverty/social exclusion and parenting and caregiver support. The Expert Group will make special efforts to promote strategies and action that engage children and their caregivers in shaping prevention and early intervention.
- Child-Friendly Justice: To promote the rights of child victims and witnesses of violence to be heard, receive information, assistance and support through effective, professional and child-friendly and multidisciplinary interventions.
- Partnerships for Children’s Rights and Child Protection: To promote international legal and policy instruments, concepts and guidance adopted by all CBSS Member States for children’s rights and child protection through broad international and regional partnerships and alliances.
The areas of concern include trafficking and exploitation, sexual violence, non- violent childhoods, migration, the role of children in building resilient societies and child participation.
The priorities are closely related. Achievements in one priority area have relevance and impact across priority areas.