Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-177"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen. I am pleased that the European Parliament has finally reached this debate on the European Union’s strategy for children’s rights because a policy which encourages children’s rights will form the bedrock of tomorrow’s society. The well-being of society and the state depends on the values and methods used by future parents. My thanks to the rapporteur for drafting such a comprehensive document. It is appropriate that the principles set out in the UN Convention on the rights of the child and its additional protocols have been used as the basis for developing an EU strategy on the rights of the child. However, this strategy to be more effective and applicable throughout all 27 Member States, it must contain more specific provision for implementing measures whose application would be supported both by using Member States’ and European Union resources. The strategy is comprehensive, and I do not have time to go into every aspect. I would like to highlight just one positive initiative, but one which is effective in all respects, namely the recommendation in the European Union children’s rights strategy for a European Union-wide child helpline telephone number; we have had a child helpline number in Estonia for three years now and I can confirm to you that it works well. I would like to direct your attention to two important target groups, the safeguarding of whose rights I believe we should focus our thoughts on more keenly. The first of those target groups is disabled children. It strikes me that in our strategy on the rights of the child, greater attention should be focused on safeguarding disabled children’s rights; and that also they, like other target groups, should have genuinely guaranteed opportunities, equal opportunities, to be actively involved in the life of society. The second area I would like to highlight is that of guaranteeing the rights of children who are not cared for by their parents. All children unquestionably have the right to a family. Unfortunately today it is not possible for all children to grow up in the bosom of the family, and they live in children’s homes. We have not paid sufficient attention in our documentation to children who have left children’s homes at about 18 or 19 years of age: legally they are adults, although in social terms they are not; this is an area which we should begin to focus some attention."@en1

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