9th European forum on the rights of the child.

Dr Maria Brenner was invited to this forum at the very beginning of the MOCHA project, where the important issue of child rights and the right to health and health care were discussed. Papers from the forum are available from: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/fundamental-rights/rights-child/european-forum/ninth-meeting/index_en.htm

Prioritising access to justice for all children in Europe and Beyond. Brussels 3 June 2015 . UNICEF / EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

Dr Maria Brenner was invited to this important conference, but was unable to attend due to time constraints. However, Dr Brenner raised a number of points to be discussed at the meeting that are relevant to the work of the MOCHA project, and fundamental to the rights of children:

Protection

  • access to justice if parent/guardian is the perpetrator or is the blockage to access to justice
  • access to justice if the civil police will not take action and/or will not believe the child
  • the need for confidentiality and trust if a child is to come forward (exception procedures to normal sharing of information with parent / doctor / teacher if child requires this).

Health (treatment but also preventive services)

  • right to justice to seek healthcare access if parent is opposed, blocks, or is simply ineffectual in taking action
  • right to justice to seek healthcare access if necessary treatment is available but local service will not give access
  • right to justice to seek healthcare access if necessary treatment is not available in a timely manner in their own country but is available elsewhere in Europe but this is denied or not implemented

Undocumented, Migrant and Asylum Seeking Children

  • right to justice to seek protection and treatment based on human rights and the rights of the child
  • right to justice to seek to be treated as an individual, not to be labelled by their parents’ action or status – they are in a situation not of their own making, and their country should give them access to justice to gain their right to health and safety.

Competency and Autonomy

  • when does a child gain the right to express wishes different from parent / guardian and to access justice over this
  • when and how does a child access justice if the parent is temporarily or permanently not mentally competent
  • how does a child present their need for justice
  • who represents a child who calls for help in accessing justice (with regard to health or protection) if parent cannot or will not