Children and their rights were the focus of the International conference on children’s rights and protection against violence organised by the National Assembly, the Human Rights Ombudsman and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Week of the Child on 6 and 7 October. The Conference, which took place at the National Assembly in Ljubljana, was organised under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, and is a part of the activities of the Slovenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
In its foreign policy, Slovenia has been endeavouring for several years to improve the situation of the most vulnerable social groups, including children and youth. Despite the protection offered by the international Convention on the Rights of the Child - the 20th anniversary of which is being celebrated this year - children’s rights are violated every day all around the world. Violence against children is one of the gravest violations of human rights and therefore received special attention at the Conference.
The purpose of the Conference, held in the International Year of Human Rights Learning, was to stress the importance of protecting and implementing children's rights. At the same time, examples of good practice could contribute to raising awareness among the political, expert and general public.
Senior political representatives of the Republic of Slovenia and the Council of Europe, as well as experts and representatives of international and civil society organisations took part at the Conference; children and youth also played an active part by presenting their views and messages.
The Conference have been broadcasted live on the parliamentary channel of TV Slovenia, and was divided into three topics: education on the rights of the child; the right to protection against violence; and the activities of the Council of Europe and the Slovenian Government in these areas. In the framework of the Conference an 'information market' was held at the National Assembly, where several Slovenian non-governmental organisations and government offices presented their activities in the field of children’s rights and human rights education.