Swedish presidency 2017-2018 highlighted the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The expert group also took up child protection and welfare issues during the year, as well as unaccompanied children.

The Swedish Presidency of the CBSS highlighted the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 as a framework for accomplishing the long-term priorities of the CBSS. Within the CBSS Expert Group for Children at Risk, the relevant priorities highlighted were 5.2, 5.3, and 16.2.


The year featured work on many projects.

PROTECT Children on the Move

Worked to safeguard the human rights and the best interests of children in cross-border situations. During the Swedish presidency, the project organised three consultations on the identification and referral of children at risk of exploitation and trafficking. The final consultation for the third phase of this project developed The Oslo Conclusions on the Identification and Referral of Children at Risk of Exploitation and Trafficking.

Non-violent Childhoods

Promoted the elimination of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading punishments of children through the change of attitudes and behaviour. During the year, the project completed its national consultations and expert meetings, and developed the drafts of the guidance materials and the campaign.

PROMISE – promoting the Barnahus model

During the year, PROMISE 1 was closed, and PROMISE 2 was launched, thereby launching the support for national implementation.

ProGuard – Strengthening and professionalising guardianship in Europe

This project launched during the Swedish presidency, with the aim to develop a practical toolkit including a train-the-trainer methodology. The Expert Group was a partner to the project, and gave input to the development of the project’s toolkit and accreditation pilot.

TRAM: Supporting and enabling the integration of victims of trafficking

The Children at Risk and Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings Units cooperated on this project, for which the CBSS was a partner. During the year, the Children at Risk Unit participated in project activities, suggested key actors to invite to expert meetings, and gave input to the development of the project’s tools specifically on separated and unaccompanied children. Read more >

Expert group meetings

The CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk met twice during the Swedish Presidency.

The meeting held in Stockholm on 12-13 October 2017 featured a special programme on child protection and welfare issues related to Agenda 2030 and the Regional strategy for cooperation on children at risk. The meeting adopted the following take-home messages:

  • Promote the implementation of SDGs, in particular 16.2, 5.2 and 5.3.
  • Educate and/or support foster families and staff in shelters and residential homes in order to give the most appropriate support to children who have experienced violence.
  • Ensure a child friendly justice system including child friendly complaint procedures.
  • Prioritise early and coordinated interventions for children and teenagers with conduct problems, based on the needs and rights of the children.

The meeting held in Stockholm on 19-20 April 2018 featured a special programme on unaccompanied children. The meeting adopted the following take-home messages:

  • The CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk is a unique example of international cooperation with a view to refining the work in the coming years.  
  • In this light, the Expert Group will celebrate the 20th anniversary of CBSS cooperation on children at risk in Riga in December 2018, with the aim to increase visibility within the CBSS structures and among high level government officials.  
  • Visibility starts at home. The Expert Group members will seek out ways to launch and continue regular communication horizontally and vertically in their Governments and relevant Agencies.  
  • As a result of the Special Programme on Unaccompanied Children, the Expert Group Members are to reflect on how to relate to and improve the situation for married children in their countries.