During the last few years NEF Croatia has been a part of several important researches, has implemented several projects in cooperation with adults and has been mentioned as an example of good practice in the National Plan for Rights of Children of the Republic of Croatia by the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy. The work of NEF Croatia 2022-2024 is funded partially by the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF NEF?
- Influence decision-makers at EU and national level.
- Serve as a platform where children can share opinions and learn about European topics.
- Discuss the problems that children face in their countries.
- Transfer the collected views of children at local and national level to Eurochild .
- Propose possible actions by Eurochild towards the European Union or bodies of the Council of Europe.
- Promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to Children and Youth, governments and the public.
- Explore the experiences of children and young people on European / national European policy themes.
- Act as a platform where children learn how to become stronger advocates for children’s rights.
- Allow children to learn from each other.
NEF Croatia has realized several projects so far: „Activate the change in your community“, „Click and participate in your community“, „For a Children’s Voice in Europe“ and participated in the project „Children around us“.
THE STRUCTURE OF NEF:
- Each NEF is structured a little differently.
- Members of NEF Croatia are aged 13-16.
- NEF members should be transparently selected.
- Selected members should be supported by a Eurochild member in charge of organizing and running the NEF.
HOW NEF WORKS?
NEF members should collect information from children in their country based on a number of defined topics.
In cooperation with the Eurochild Children’s Council, they will decide on 50% of these topics, and 50% of the topics are agreed among NEF members.
Topics will be announced an annual basis.
In gathering responses, NEF members should reach out to children who do not belong to the support organization to ensure the representation of diverse groups of children.
NEFs should provide feedback to Eurochild on a regular basis.
NEFs should meet in person at least twice a year.
Each NEF should be inclusive and actively seek to include children from different backgrounds with different experiences (ethnic groups, religion, social status, disability, age groups, etc.).
NEF meetings should be accessible to children with physical disabilities and, where necessary, special support should be organized for children with disabilities (eg sign language interpreter).
OVERVIEW OF PLANNED ACTIVITIES / OBJECTIVES OF NEF:
- Collecting information related to given topics from children in Croatia.
- Conduct research related to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at local, national and EU level in cooperation with Eurochild.
- Discuss with children the problems they face in their cities and in Croatia.
- Organize meetings and gatherings of children of NEF Croatia.
- Present the work of NEF in the work of the Council for Children of the Republic of Croatia, the Advisory Committee for Children’s Participation of the UNCEF Croatia Office, conferences and meetings of children organized by the Union of Societies „Our children“ of Croatia.
- Organize NEF meetings with local and national policy makers for children and youth.
- Design and implement at the national level an event, a campaign organized by NEF in cooperation with the network of Children’s Councils and Children’s Forums.
- Warn of difficulties in exercising children’s rights, but also encourage their peers and help them to actively participate in making decisions that affect them.
- NEFs can be built on existing national children’s councils or parliaments. In Croatia, the electoral base consisted of children’s councils, children’s forums and the Network of Young Advisors.
- The Eurochild Child Protection Policy or the NEF Child Protection Policy, which is in line with the Eurochild Child Protection Policy, applies to NEF events.
EXPLANATION OF THE ADDED VALUE THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NEF WILL BRING INTO THE NATIONAL CONTEXT
- Involvement of children in research related to European topics of European policies for children.
- Exchange of experiences with peers from other European countries and application of acquired knowledge and experience in their country.
- The involvement of children contributes to strengthening the active participation of children at the national level.
- Participating children would have the opportunity to use the platform for faster exchange of ideas and experiences related to children’s rights and children’s participation.
- It would contribute to increased awareness among adult decision-makers at the national level regarding children’s rights and children’s participation.
EXPECTED USE OF NEF’S RESULTS AND OUTCOMES AT NATIONAL AND EU LEVEL
- Increase influence on decision makers at EU and national level.
- Contribute to greater participation of children in the development of the new National Strategy for the Rights of the Child in Croatia.
- Increase the connection of children at national and EU level for the exchange of experiences on issues related to children’s first and children’s participation.
- Contribute to increasing visibility in the realization of children’s rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.