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Former Maltese President elected President of European children’s rights network

Date

18 Apr 2019

Sections

InfoSociety
(17 April 2018, Brussels) Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Former President of Malta has been elected President of Eurochild, a children’s rights advocacy network with 176 members in 34 countries. The elections took place during the meeting of the Eurochild General Assembly held in Brussels today.
“During my time as President of Malta, child participation was always at the centre of my endeavours, especially through the work of the Foundation of the Wellbeing of Society – a focus which also led to the establishment of the Children’s Council and the Young People’s Council. I am delighted to see Eurochild adopting a similar model. I would like to use my time as President of this prestigious organisation to ensure that child participation takes off on a pan-European level, bringing greater attention to the voice of children. I believe Europe can play a leading role globally here too. I’d like to see Eurochild strengthen its ties to various international organisations, and deepen its cooperation with the Council of Europe with its coverage of 47 Member States. Working with these member states and their respective Parliamentary Delegations, Eurochild can bring children’s rights into the core of Parliaments across the European Region.” – H.E Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, newly-elected President of Eurochild
 
Eurochild is an advocacy network of organisations working with and for children throughout Europe, striving for a society that respects the rights of children. Bringing expertise from its membership, the network influences policies, builds internal capacities, facilitates mutual learning and exchanges practice and research to support the children’s rights sector.
“We are honoured and delighted to have leadership of such a committed champion of children’s rights. Her Excellency’s vision of children’s rights and insight into the political world will open many doors for Eurochild and enable the network to sail smoothly amidst the upcoming changes in the European institutions and beyond.” - Jana Hainsworth, Eurochild Secretary General
 
Eurochild wants to see an end to child poverty and social exclusion, end to institutional care for all children in Europe and greater recognition of children’s rights in political discourse. The network advocates for better investment in children through EU funds and policies, increased recognition of children’s voices in public decision-making and reform of child protection systems across Europe through the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign. Ahead of the European Elections 2019, Eurochild is campaigning for a European Parliament that stands for children with the Vote for Children campaign. 
 
Separately, at the General Assembly, a group of children aged 11-16 years from 11 European countries took over the Eurochild Children’s Council, to lead on realising children’s participation in the work of the Eurochild network.
 
About Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
 
Her Excellency Coleiro-Preca dedicated her life to the social well-being of the most vulnerable in society, and was influential for effective changes in the social policies of Malta. During her term as Minister for Family and Social Solidarity of Malta, she initiated a variety of reforms in social housing, social benefits to support children and families. She overhauled the welfare system and tabled several laws before Parliament, including the Act on the Protection of children, using an innovative bottom-up approach methodology. She has been instrumental in setting up social projects using EU funds to establish Family Resource Centers to provide support to communities, as part of the European Commission’s Social Investment Package. With the Maltese Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, she launched a Green Paper to target over 22,000 children living in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
 
In 2014, she founded the President’s Foundation for the Well-being of Society of Malta, which is the first of its kind in the country. She also founded the President’s Trust in 2015 with the aim to encourage vulnerable young people experiencing difficulties in life, such as unemployment, being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion, to improve their lives through education and training.

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