1076th meeting – 3-4 February 2010

Appendix 7
(Item 6.4)

Terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on children’s rights and social services (CS-S-CRS)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Ad hoc Advisory Group on children’s rights and social services (CS-S-CRS)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

Yes

Programme of Activities: Project(s)

2010/DG3/2317 – Children’s rights and social services

Project relevance:

Chapter III. 2 of the Third Summit Action Plan: “Building a Europe for children”. The Advisory Group will play a part in promoting the rights and protection of the child.

Political justification/framework :

The Advisory Group will contribute to a core mission of the Council of Europe: promoting children’s rights and social services for children and families.

It will contribute to implementing in the member states the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the legal instruments of the Council of Europe concerning child rights, eradication of all forms of violence against children, support of positive parenting, children and families’ participation, and in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, the revised European Social Charter, the European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights, as well as relevant recommendations of the Committee of Ministers, Parliamentary Assembly, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and Commissioner for Human Rights.

Its work will tie in with the Revised Strategy for Social Cohesion, the report of the High-Level Task Force on Social Cohesion “Towards an active, fair and socially cohesive Europe”, the Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2009-2011) as well as with policy guidelines for the design and implementation of integrated models of social services (2006).

The Advisory Group will help member states to adapt and further develop social services, taking into account the rights, opinions and needs of children and families in the best interest of the child. Social services should be child and family-friendly. Particular attention will be paid to children and families in difficulty, who need special support and protection. The effective contribution of social services to preventing situations of risk and social reintegration of these vulnerable categories will be sought.

Project added value:

The Advisory Group will be the first to examine obstacles to the work of social services with children and families, particularly children and families in difficulty. It will draft recommendations or guidelines on how to adapt social services to better take into account the needs of children and families. It will fulfil this task on the basis of a multidisciplinary approach, by common efforts of specialists from different sectors. With the specialists on social protection and social services as the hard core, representatives of education, health and justice will also participate in order to enrich the results and avoid a duplication of efforts. The Group will co-operate with other Council of Europe structures, in particular the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the European Co-ordination Forum for the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 (CAHPAH), the Committee of Experts on child-friendly health care (SP-CFH), the Group of Specialists on child-friendly justice (CJ-S-CH) and INGOs.

Financial information:

Annual budget 2010:

Number of meetings per year: 2 two-days meetings

Meetings: €34 000
Interpretation: €8 000
Translation and production of documents: €8 000
Total annual budget: €50 000

Estimated annual budget 2011:

Number of meetings per year: 2 two-days meetings

Meetings: €34 000
Interpretation: €8 000
Translation and production of documents: €8 000
Total annual budget: €50 000

Terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on children’s rights and social services (CS-S-CRS)

1.

Name of Committee:

Ad hoc Advisory Group on children’s rights and social services (CS-S-CRS)

2.

Type of Committee:

Ad hoc Advisory Group

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers upon the proposal of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

-

Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 December 2005);

-

the Warsaw Declaration and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, May 2005), notably the renewed commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in particular chapter III. 2 “Building a Europe for children”;

-

the Final Communiqué of the 29th Session of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Family Affairs (Vienna, 16-17 June 2009);

-

the report of the High-Level Task Force on Social Cohesion “Towards an active, fair and socially cohesive Europe”, Chapter 2 “Socially cohesive Europe: Main challenges” (submitted to the Committee of Ministers on 12 December 2007);

-

the following recommendations of the Committee of Ministers: Rec(2002)8 on child day-care, Rec(2005)5 on the rights of children living in residential institutions, Rec(2006)19 on policy to support positive parenting, CM/Rec(2010)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on community living and deinstitutionalisation of children with disabilities;

-

the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly, in particular 1778 (2007) “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse” and 1864 (2008) “Promoting the participation by children in decisions affecting them”;

-

the recommendations of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, in particular 53 (1999) “Policies for deprived children/adolescents and families” and 272 (2009) “Preventing violence against children”;

-

the revised Strategy for Social Cohesion, approved by the Committee of Ministers on 31 March 2004;

-

the Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2009-2011), approved by the Committee of Ministers on 27 November 2008;

-

the Council of Europe Policy Guidelines on integrated national strategies on the protection of children against violence (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 18 November 2009).

 

Under the responsibility of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS), and in connection with the implementation of the Project 2010/DG3/2317 “Children’s rights and social services” of the Programme of Activities, the Advisory Group is instructed to:

i.

identify obstacles, in particular patterns and procedures which prevent children and families from making best use of social services;

ii.

show how social services can better respond to the needs of children and families, especially children at risk and victims of violence as well as families in difficulty, taking into account their rights and opinions, facilitating their participation in the decision making of measures which regard them and supporting positive parenting;

iii

identify ways to foster co-operation between social services and other relevant public services and professionals working with children (notably in the fields of health care, justice and education);

iv.

analyse policies and collect best practices existing in these fields;

v.

develop policy proposals and recommendations or guidelines aimed at disseminating these results in the member states of the Council of Europe in order to promote positive tendencies in the development and work of social services.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A

Members

The Group will consist of 10 specialists with the following qualifications: knowledge of issues related to practical work of social protection and social services for children and families; research interest in these issues; specialists from the education and health sectors working with families; juvenile justice specialists.

Five specialists will be appointed by the CDCS and five by the Secretary General. Their travel and subsistence expenses will be borne by the Council of Europe budget.

5.B

Participants

i.

The following committees and bodies of the Council of Europe may each send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-heads:

- European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS);
- Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter (T-SG);
- Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH);
- European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ);
- European Committee on Migration (CDMG);
- Steering Committee for Education (CDED);
- European Health Committee (CDSP);
- Committee of Experts on child-friendly health care (SP-CFH);
- European Co-ordination Forum for the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 (CAHPAH);
- Committee of Experts on family law (CJ-FA);
- Group of Specialists on child-friendly justice (CJ-S-CH);
- Partial Agreement Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group).

ii.

The Parliamentary Assembly may send a representative to the Group’s meetings, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

iii.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe may send a representative to the Group’s meetings, without the right to vote and at the expense of its administrative budget.

iv.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights may send a representative to the Group’s meetings, without the right to vote and at the expense of his or her administrative budget

v.

The Conference of INGOs may send a representative to the Group’s meetings, without the right to vote and the expense of its administrative budget.

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Union may send representatives to the meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

The following intergovernmental organisations may send (a) representative(s) to the meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF);
- World Health Organisation (WHO);
- UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

5.D

Observers

 

The following non-governmental organisations may send (a) representative(s) to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC);
- International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN).

6.

Working methods and structures:

 

In carrying out its terms of reference, and bearing in mind final results (guidelines or draft recommendation of the Committee of Ministers, report and collection of best practices), the Group shall work in plenary as well as in workshop sessions during its two meetings per year.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2011.



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