ChildONEurope is an institutional network gathering the national observatories on childhood or the national bodies working in this field appointed by the ministries participating in L’Europe de l’Enfance.
ChildONEurope, the European Network of National Observatories on Childhood, was officially set up on 24 January 2003 after two years of preparatory work by the Permanent Intergovernmental Group L’Europe de l’Enfance. The objectives of ChildONEurope are the following:
- to promote the exchange of knowledge and information on laws, policies, programmes, statistical data, studies, researches and best practices concerning childhood and adolescence;
- to carry out and organize studies, researches, conferences and seminars on childhood and adolescence based on an interdisciplinary and comparative approach and to disseminate results among the partners of the network and other national and international organizations working in this field;
- to improve and exchange knowledge on methodologies and indicators in order to obtain comparable data and information.
Composition, bodies and procedures
As of the Assembly of 11 June 2010, ChildONEurope was composed of eight Members (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain) and 16 Associated Members (Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Hungary).
ChildONEurope is made up of an Assembly and a Secretariat.
The Assembly, which comprises the institutions appointed by the Members (see detail), is the decision-making body of the Network and it meets at least twice a year.
The Secretariat draws up proposals, provides technical-scientific and logistical support, spreads documents and facilitates communication among the Members of the Network. The functions of the Secretariat have been assigned to the National Documentation and Analysis Centre for Childhood and Adolescence, whose activities are managed by the Istituto degli Innocenti of Florence.
The activities of the ChildONEurope Secretariat are funded firstly by the Italian Government (Department for Family Policies of the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy) and secondly through voluntary contributions by the competent Ministries of Member States: French-speaking Community of Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain.
ChildONEurope carries out analysis, research, documentation, training and communication activities.
Thematic comparative studies are a very important tool to achieve the main objective of ChildONEurope, i.e. to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and information among its partners.
The topics of study are chosen by the Network’s Assembly and the research methodology consists first of all in the formation of an ad hoc working group (internal to the Network), which first discusses the topic in general terms and then elaborates a list of activities. In general, the working group prepares questionnaires to be submitted to every country involved in the survey. At the same time, the countries are invited to send useful documents and materials (see http://www.childoneurope.org/issues/issues.htm).
During and/or at the end of a research, seminars may be organized in order to discuss the topic of study more in depth, to provide training and to disseminate results. Participation in the seminars – which normally take place in Florence in the headquarters of the Secretariat – is open to the representatives of the Network partners, to representatives of international institutions and bodies, as well as of non-governmental organizations and networks dealing with childhood and adolescence (see >http://www.childoneurope.org/whatwedo/seminars.htm).