International Conference


2 nd December 2020 | 09:30 - 16:00

Multilevel Governance and Children's Rights: Challenges and Achievements in the EU's, Italian and Spanish Contexts. Theoretical and Practical Perspectives” 

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In the wake of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), children’s rights protection in the EU is expected to undergo a phase of great change. In her inaugural address as the newly-elected President of the European Commission on 19 July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen identified the creation of a comprehensive EU child rights strategy as a priority for her mandate. In addition, there is a continuous debate about the role of the multilevel governance framework in strengthening or hindering children’s rights implementation as well as about the effectiveness of the related mechanisms of child rights mainstreaming and intersectoral policy coordination. However, despite the growing political debates and commitments, children’s rights protection often remains a “soft” issue more related to a promise than a reality under several aspects with direct impact on the condition of children across Europe.

What is the status of children’s rights in the European Union? How and with what effects are the EU and its Member States protecting children? To what extent does the division of competence between the EU and its Member States affect the adoption and the implementation of child-related measures on both sides? Furthemore, how can a children’s rights-based approach based on the principles of the UNCRC be better embodied in a multilevel governance context? How can children be fully recognised as autonomous rights-holders responsible and entitled to shape their own lives?

As the closing event of the CRIMG project, the aim of the conference is to provide an answer to these questions by examining the relationship between various levels of governance in protecting children’s rights in the EU and presenting current strengths, weaknesses and obstacles for the protection of children’s rights at the level of EU institutions, Italy and Spain. Furthermore, the conference is devoted to suggest actions for improving the conditions of children through the adoption of more comprehensive, integrated and forward-looking child rights strategies at the European, national and regional level.

The conference addresses these issues by focusing on the protection of children’s rights at the three levels of the EU multilevel governance framework (id est supranational, national and regional levels) and particularly:

  • European Union
  • Italy and Spain
  • Veneto and Catalonia

The invited keynote speakers, practitioners and scholars from different disciplines – legal science, political science and sociology – will be sharing theoretical views and practical experiences about achievements, obstacles, priorities and best practices of children’s rights protection.

“CRIMG - Mainstreaming of children’s rights: multilevel governance perspective” is an international project funded by the University of Padova under the STARS Grants programme and managed by the Department of Political Science, Law and International Study of the University of Padova.