On 19 and 20 October the members and partners of European Guardianship Network came together in a hybrid meeting for the 4th Network Meeting. Good practices were shared and participants discussed how to bring guardianship for unaccompanied children to the next level within the EU Member States.
The meeting kicked off with launching of the guide developed by the network:
Children on the move – A guide to working with unaccompanied children in Europe
The guide was written by late Marjan Schippers. We are thankful for all the contributions of the members of the network to make it a guide with a European dimension. The main message of the guide?
We should listen to the voice of the child, not to take over from them, and strengthen their agency over their lives and futures.
Chairman of the board Tanno Klijn handed over the book to Philip Ishola representing the Board of EGN.
It was good to get to know the different guardianship systems in Denmark, Estonia and Greece on the second day of the meeting through the presentations of Maja Rettrup Mørch from the Danish Red Cross, Kadi Lauri from the Estonian Social Insurance Board and Lora Pappa from METAdrasi Greece. Besides, a very valuable panel discussion was held with Rebecca O Donnell (Child Circle), Manou Ballyn (Project Xtra Mena, Caritas Belgium), Germa Lourens (Nidos, the Netherlands) on the needs of children and guardians regarding Cross Border Working.
Overall, the meeting gave the network a lot of thoughts and possibilities to digest. So it was very good to end with a session on the priorities of the network, taking ownership of the subjects and how to take the network forward to better serve unaccompanied refugee children in their journey through Europe.