The hidden cost, the forgotten victims – Europe’s children. A live radio and web streamed debate from the European Parliament in Brussels discussed if Europe’s judicial systems are sufficiently adapted to the specific vulnerabilities and needs of children.

During the debate, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released the results of the report “Child-friendly justice – perspectives and experiences of professionals” and explained to the public the findings of the study.

 According to the Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, the EU shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child.

Although the Union has more mechanisms for protecting children rights, many young people are not aware of the existence of any specific services and resources they can turn to, beyond family, friends or teachers, if they are in difficulty.

The bilingual debate was moderated by journalist Andrea Díez Sanromá of Castilla y Léon esRadio (in Spanish) and Brian Maguire of the Euranet Plus News Agency in Brussels (in English). The  debate also featured students of the Euranet Plus campus radio network from Romania (UBB Radio, Cluj-Napoca), Spain (Universidade de Vigo) and Finland (Radio Moreni, Tampere).

The debate was broadcast live at the top of this web page and can be viewed on-demand in two parts on YouTube, one for each language on our YouTube channel.

  • Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 12:30 CEST
  • European Parliament, Studio 1, József Antall building, level -1, Brussels, Belgium
    • Live web stream on this page (in livestream window at the top of this page)

Part 1 | Spanish | 12:30 – 13:15 CEST | moderator Andrea Díez Sanromá | guests:

Part 2 | English | 13:15 – 14:00 CEST | moderator Brian Maguire | guests:

  • Pál Csáky, MEP, Slovakia, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Vice-Chair PETI Committee on Petitions, Substitute LIBE Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Shadow rapporteur for the Directive “Criminal proceedings: procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused”, @csakypal
  • Francisco Fonseca Morillo, Director for Criminal Justice, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers (DG JUST)
  • Astrid Podsiadlowski, PhD, Head of Sector Rights of the Child to the Department Equality and Citizens Rights, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the main author of the report “Child-friendly justice – perspectives and experiences of professionals”
  • Mariama Diallo, Eurochild representative, Children’s Rights Specialist
  • High-resolution press photos of this part of the debate with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike on Flickr

Ahead of the debate, we posted regular audios and features on our social media channels to bring the topic closer to our guests, fans and listeners. During the debate our fans were invited to post their questions for our guests and moderators.


Spanish part: Citizens’ Corner debate on how to make EU justice child-friendly

Spanish part: Citizens’ Corner debate on how to make EU justice child-friendly

English part: Citizens’ Corner debate on how to make EU justice child-friendly

English part: Citizens’ Corner debate on how to make EU justice child-friendly

Background on the Citizens’ Corner debate

Are the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the EU a reality or not? What are the achievements and which are the gaps of adopted EU law and policy on children’s status and experience across various fields (e.g. family environment and alternative care; protection from exploitation and violence; adequate standard of living; education, culture, citizenship and participation in activities related to school and sport)?

What can be done for separated, asylum-seeking children? For trafficking victims children? What have been the results of the EU Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography?

In which degree the 11 concrete actions included in the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child have succeeded to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of the children? And the question on top: How to make the justice system more child-friendly in the EU?

The European Parliament and the European Council adopted on 13 December 2011 the EU Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

On 27 November 2013, the European Commission proposed a Directive on the rights of children who are suspected or accused in criminal proceedings. The draft Directive could be discussed by the plenary of the Parliament in September.

The 2011 EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child aims to reinforce the full commitment of the Union to promote, protect and fulfil the children rights in all relevant EU policies and actions. This Agenda includes 11 concrete actions where the EU can seriously contribute to children’s well-being and safety.

Children can be involved in judicial proceedings in various settings, either directly as a defendant, victim or witness or indirectly when judicial decisions may have a considerable impact on their lives such as in divorce or custody proceedings. However, their involvement often lacks a child rights based approach and response from judicial and other actors. Making the justice system more child-friendly in Europe is a key action under the EU Agenda.

On the other hand, by 16 November 2015 the EU Member States must have transposed the EU Victims’ Directive into national law, and there is still a lot to be done. The Article 24 of the Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, clearly reffers to the right to protection of child victims during criminal proceedings.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights started in 2007 its work on the rights of the child by developing indicators to measure the protection, respect and promotion of the children rights in the EU. In 2012 the Agency started to develop fieldwork research to examine the extent to which justice processes are child friendly.

Citizens’ Corner debate on how to make EU justice child-friendly

About Citizens’ Corner debates

With the aim of getting as close as possible to the concerns of EU citizens and inspired by the “The 2010 EU Citizenship Report”, the “25 Key Actions to Improve Citizens’ Lives”, “The 2013 EU Citizenship Report”, along with the 12 new actions in six key areas put forward by the European Commission to further remove obstacles standing in the way of citizens’ enjoyment of their EU rights, euranetplus organizes monthly debates under the heading of “Citizens’ Corner”.
The aim is to provide information on the rights enjoyed by EU citizens, and also to reveal gaps which may remain between the applicable rules and regulations and the reality of citizens’ daily lives, particularly in cross-border situations. The debates provide the opportunity for open dialogue, contributing to new insights between all those involved.

About Euranet Plus, The most powerful radio network in Europe

Euranet Plus is a pan-European network of 15 leading radio stations – public and private – across the European Union. Euranet Plus reaches over 20 million listeners daily with its EU related content broadcasted on-air. As an unrivalled brand for quality content on EU news and producing and broadcasting in 14 official EU languages through its international, national and regional radio stations in 15 EU states, Euranet Plus broadcasts more than 1,300 hours of high quality EU related content on a yearly basis.

Offering high-quality EU news coverage, Euranet Plus programmes are specifically targeted towards member radios’ audiences, making the best use of the strength of the network of professional radio operators Europe-wide.

From Brussels to Europe: Euranet Plus News Agency

The network operates its own news agency in Brussels. This provides the network members with high quality, up-to-date information from heartbeat of the European Union and its member states. Pooling EU related information and media content, the euranetplus News Agency offers insightful content from Brussels and Strasbourg as well as from its radio members all over Europe.

Euranet Plus thereby enriches the editorial coverage on EU affairs with truly transnational viewpoints going well beyond national borders.

Euranet Plus operates with full editorial independence.

Understanding Europe

More than ever, the European Union has influence on the daily lives of European citizens. However, there is an evident lack of information on EU affairs. The Euranet Plus objective is to strengthen EU citizens’ awareness and understanding of EU affairs by better informing them and by stimulating exchange of opinions and debate.

Euranet Plus aims to bridge the information gap between the EU and citizens, thereby promoting better mutual understanding in Europe.

Citizens’ Corner debate on how to make EU justice child-friendly

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