Danish chairmanship 2009-2010 features international conferences on internet safety and leaving care

The chairmanship also launched 2 new EU co-funded projects: one on internet safety and the other on information management to prevent trafficking in children.

Child Safety on the Internet

Held in Moscow 12-13 November 2009, participants to the conference included 120 Russian experts and 50 experts from the region and from EU member states who presented and discussed research, legislative approaches, preventive work making the Internet safer for children. The aim of the conference was to create an interface, a platform for exchange of research, programmes, actions and projects all contributing to making the online world a safe experience for children.The conference was organised by the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk in with full funding from the European Commission Safer Internet Programme.

The conference conclusions included the following topics: legislation, child protection services and child rehabilitation services, industry involvement in safer internet initiatives, law enforcement cooperation, and research.

Support to Young People Leaving Care

On 7-8 October 2009 the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Council of the Baltic Sea States in partnership with the Council of Europe, UNICEF and SOS Children’s Villages International organised the conference “Keeping the door open – Support to young people leaving care” in Vilnius aimed at improving the services provided to young people leaving alternative care.

For each of the four main themes of the conference: emotional stability and wellbeing, education, housing and employment, young people provided examples of the current situation in their countries and pointed out to possible solutions: such as the need for longer and stable emotional support; ensuring sufficient and equal financial support in all countries regardless of the economic situation; access to quality education for all children; support in finding employment and assistance in solving their housing.

The preparatory workshop for youth took place 4-6 October 2009 and was organized by SOS Children’s Villages International, with the support of the Council of Europe.

In addition to young participants, it gathered policy makers, academics and practitioners from various areas in Europe, who were given a chance to discuss tools and methods to increase the quality and efficiency of support to young people leaving care. Plenary presentations, seminars and workshops helped participants to develop best practices and exchange views on the four main topics of the conference: emotional stability and social well-being, education, employment, and housing. The young people’s input to the conference programme was warmly welcomed.

Information Management to Prevent Trafficking

The CBSS was awarded a grant via the EU Daphne III programme for the project BSR IMPT – Baltic Sea Region Information Management to Prevent Trafficking. Planned for 12 months, the funding supported three expert seminars and a written report.

ROBERT – Risk-taking Online Behaviour – Empowerment through Research and Training

A project application to the European Commission was approved for the ROBERT project.

Expert group meetings

The Expert Group met twice: once in Vilnius on 7-8 October 2009 at the invitation of the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and once in Warsaw on April 15th and 16th at the invitation of the Polish Ministry of National Education. Partners include: Save the Children Denmark, Caritas Lithuania and Tartu Child Support Centre in Estonia.

National Contact Points on Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children

The National Contact Points have been used in individual cases where informal information has been provided between professionals in the member countries.