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ENOC and ENYA: Rights across Europe

Commissioner Bruce Adamson is the Chair-Elect of ENOC

The Commissioner is currently chair-elect of ENOC, the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children.

This means that Bruce is preparing for the role of Chair and will step into the role at the Network’s General Assembly in September 2020.

As part of this preparation, our office is responsible for organising the ENOC Annual Conference in November on the theme of Child Rights Impact Assessments.


ENOC is a network which includes Children’s Commissioners and Children’s Ombudspersons, all of who promote and protect children’s rights as laid out in the UNCRC. There are representatives from 34 member countries who come together to share information and strategies.

As a member of the Network we take part in an annual programme that includes seminars, an annual conference, position papers and participation.


Adults in power often make decisions that affect people― such as laws and policies. When they do this, they don’t always think about the impact these decisions will have on children and young people.

A Children’s Rights Impact Assessment, or CRIA,is a way to include children and young people in a decision. It looks at the ways the decision might affect the rights of children and young people― both positively and negatively.

By doing this, it means people know what the effect of the decision on children and young people is likely to be.

An image of young people on the stage at the ENOC conference.

How are young people involved with ENOC?

Each year ENOC members choose an issue affecting children’s rights which they think needs special attention and consideration. Their objective is to explore the issue at adult and young people’s levels and to compare findings. The young people involved are part of ENYA, the European Network of Young Advisers.

The purpose of ENYA is to actively involve young people in ENOC’s annual work and to give them the opportunity to be heard at a European level. Scottish young people have been involved in ENYA for a number of years.

Our office supports ENYA, as it allows young people to:

  • express their concerns and points of views regarding their rights,
  • make their proposals heard, and
  • participate in drawing up common recommendations.

This year countries involved in ENYA include Spain (three regions), Malta, Slovakia, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Norway, Jersey and Montenegro.

ENYA in 2020

This year ENYA is involved in work on the ENOC theme of Child Rights Impact Assessments, with LGBTIQ+ rights as the topic. We’re supporting a group of young people in Scotland to take part, who’ve been working on these issues since March.

The ENYA Forum

Each year, young people from across Europe meet at an event called the ENYA Forum. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year the Forum is taking place online. It will run over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of October.

Our group is sending two delegates to the Forum― Jonathan and Hope. They’ll take part in workshops and discussions with other young delegates from several different countries.

By the end of the Forum, the young delegates will agree a list of recommendations around Children’s Rights Impact Assessments, which will feed into the position statement ENOC is writing.

More discussion between Commissioners and the young delegates of ENYA will take place in November during the ENOC annual conference.

ENYA delegates at the EU Forum on Children’s Rights

Two more of Scotland’s ENYA delegates, Adam and Jaymie, are speaking at the 13th EU Forum on Children’s Rights on 29th September. This is an annual conference that provides a platform for dialogue between EU institutions and other stakeholders on the rights of the child. 

The theme for this year’s forum is Delivering for children: towards the European strategy on the rights of the child. Adam and Jaymie will be presenting at workshops on Inclusive Education and Inclusive Societies, giving a young person from Scotland’s perspective on how the pandemic has impacted them and the world around them.

ENYA delegate Hope at the Human Rights Council Social Forum

Hope is talking about children and young people’s experiences of poverty and their human rights at the Human Rights Council’s Social Forum on 8 October.  This is an annual meeting described as a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society, NGOs and member states on a theme chosen by the Council each year.

ENYA in recent years