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Putting children’s wellbeing on the agenda

Key challenges and policy responses in the areas of children’s mental health and child friendly justice will be discussed at a meeting organised on 24 April in Strasbourg by the PACE Committee on Social Affairs. The event will build on the conclusions of the seminar organised in London in November 2017 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in co-operation with the PACE Sub-Committee on Children, with active participation of parliamentarians, academics, practitioners and young people. The seminar publication will be launched at this occasion.

Many school-age children in Europe struggle with mental health issues and health systems fail to support them and their families effectively. Similarly, justice systems across Europe fail to ensure that children who are either victims, witnesses or perpetrators of crime are treated in a way that is appropriate for their age. Over recent years, different European and international organisations, including the Council of Europe, and their member States, have regularly expressed concern both about the handling of mental-health conditions amongst children and about the appropriateness of judicial procedures for children.

Speakers at the launch event will include Michele Nicoletti, PACE President; Baroness Doreen Massey, Chairperson of the PACE Sub-Committee on Children; Stella Kyriakides, former PACE President and former Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs; Regina Jensdottir, Head of the Children’s Rights Division of the Council of Europe; Maryam Bi, YoungMinds, the UK's charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people; and Victor Azubuike, student from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

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The launch event, which is open to the press and the public, will be held at the Palais de l’Europe, Room 7, from 2.30 to 3.30 pm on Tuesday 24 April.