The initiative launched in Zagreb June 15, under the slogan "Raise your hand against smacking" aims at achieving full prohibition of corporal punishment of children, promoting positive parenting and raising awareness of children's rights throughout Europe.
Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, speaking at the launching ceremony, said “The European Convention on Human Rights is for everyone and there is no footnote in it which says that the human rights are for adults only“. Nevertheless violence against children goes all too often unprosecuted.
The event also provided a platform for the representatives of national and international actors to discuss ways to eliminate corporal punishment of children. In Finland it is forbidden by law.
The Finnish Goverment has supported the campaign with a Voluntary Contribution and children's rights are a Finnish priority in the Council of Europe.
A video clip of two minutes' duration was also lauched at the Zagreb event. It can be freely used by broadcasters in the member countries.
How to protect and promote children’s rights and to improve the situation of children were at the focus for a thematic debate in the June 18 meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies.
Irma Ertman, Ambassador of Finland and the Ministers Deputies’ Thematic Co-ordinator on Children, underlined to need to develop the strategy. She pointed at the Swedish Chairmanship’s conference early September, where possible priorities for the future strategy will be examined. Main themes for the future work could be protection for children against violence, abuse and neglect, promotion of children’s participation in society and further mainstreaming of children’s rights into different policy areas.
Ambassador Ertman was named the first Thematic Coordinator on children's rights in January 2008.