National report cards pinpoint options for child safety


The European Child Safety Alliance will launch a major review of child safety in 18 countries in Europe on Tuesday, 20 November 2007. The launch will take place in the European Parliament, Brussels and will be hosted by MEP Arlene McCarthy, Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Simultaneous launches will take place in participating countries. National Child Safety Report Cards and Country Profiles will be made available for Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Sweden.

The Report Cards describe:

  1. How well a country is doing to make it safe for children
  2. What priority issues need to be addressed, and
  3. Which good practices should be adopted to prevent accidental injuries and to save more children's lives.

They assess the extent of safety measures provided to children and adolescents by examining and grading the adoption, implementation and enforcement of national level evidence-based policies. The 18-Country Summary Report Card provides a multi-country overview to facilitate European-level planning to support national level efforts.

The 12 policy topics comprise:

  • Nine areas of safety relevant to children and adolescents
  • Passenger safety
  • Motor scooter and moped safety
  • Pedestrian safety and Cycling safety
  • Water safety/drowning prevention
  • Fall prevention
  • Burn prevention
  • Poisoning prevention
  • Choking/strangulation prevention

Plus three areas of strategy to support child safety efforts:

  • Leadership
  • Infrastructure and
  • Capacity

The Report Cards are designed to provide not only a baseline on which to assess progress but also a tool for identifying current policy gaps and suggesting priorities for action.

The aim of the launch is to communicate the review findings to influential policy makers and stakeholders at both the EU and national level so that they can galvanise action. All 18 participating countries have committed themselves to developing plans as part of the Child Safety Action Plan (CSAP) initiative of the European Child Safety Alliance.

CSAP is funded by the European Commission and implemented with the help of the Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL), UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO) and 18 national partner organisations.

The launch date, 20 November 2007, is International Day of the Child 2007. On 20 November 1989, the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child was signed in New York. The "child rights" approach taken by this UN Convention provides a broad umbrella for all other commitments to which the national Child Safety Action Plan contributes. For example, ensuring children's rights means ensuring the child safety action plan is integrated into WHO Children's Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe and Declaration, UN Millennium Development Goals and World Fit for Children Report, WHO Resolution on Injury Prevention, WHO resolution on Child and Adolescent Health and the European Commission's Recommendation for Injury Prevention.

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