From September to November 2019, during the broad national consultation on domestic violence, every actor had been involved in the collective work process to fight domestic violence more efficiently. Among the measures taken, special attention was paid to children, witnesses and victims of such violence.
The creation of the "first 1000 days" pathway, launched in 2019, will offer support to all parents, from the fourth month of pregnancy to the child's second birthday. It is based on a commission of experts that meets with parents and professionals to better target needs.
The creation of the College of Children and Adolescents within the High Council for Family, Childhood and Ageing (HCFEA) in 2016 demonstrates the will to define public policies for children from and with children. The HCFEA is in charge of animating the public debate and providing the public authorities with expertise on issues related to family and children.
The Law n° 2017-86 of 27 January 2017 on equality and citizenship invited local communities to set up such youth councils.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the conference “#RedefiningPower: Strengthening the rights of the child as the key to a future-proof Europe” was organised by the Council of Europe in the framework of the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. This conference mobilized all national and international actors on the main challenges to be taken up collectively to guarantee and improve the rights of the child.
The National Observatory for Early Childhood (ONAPE) brings together all the institutional statistical and research departments involved in early childhood policies: the Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics Directorate (DREES, Ministry of Solidarity and Health), the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the Evaluation, Foresight and Performance Directorate (DEPP, Ministry of Education). ONAPE carries out the collection, exchange and coordination of work, in order to contribute to a better understanding of decisions and action.
The previous inter-Ministerial Plan to combat violence against children (2017-2019) served the purpose to increase data collection with a focus on physical and sexual violence. It also aimed to improve the training of professionals that detect and respond to physical and sexual violence.
Regarding violence against children, several studies and survey are conducted. The DEPP's national survey on school climate and victimization survey aims to clarify the nature and contexts of violence in schools. The "Violence and Gender Relations" survey of the National Institute of Demographic Studies asks adult women and men about sexual violence experienced during their lives, a set of question is dedicated to violence suffered in childhood.
The National Council for Child Welfare produces key indicators on child protection on an annual basis. On the more specific subject of offences committed and suffered by children, "living environment and safety" survey is conducted and data is collected by law enforcement authorities (delinquency, under-18s at risk).
France is the newest 29th pathfinding country and is very committed to combating violence that runs through society. In November 2019, the inter-Ministerial Plan to combat violence against children was launched by the Secretary of State for Child Protection, called “I want to end violence against children. What about you?”
The title and the five axes of the Plan are written in the first person in order to promote and encourage the child’s voice:
- “Open your eyes, talk to me”: raising awareness, training and informing,
- “Listen to me and act”: freeing the child’s speech, promote detection and reports,
- “Wherever I go, protect me”: better-protecting children on a daily basis,
- “Help me out”: accompanying better child victims
- “Make sure that doesn’t happen”: preventing and avoiding recidivism. It reflects one main objective: to protect every child in every place and at every time, so that no context or environment may escape the required vigilance.
The 22 measures of the plan to combat violence against children mobilize the whole government and ministries, as well as all the shareholders. All of them will be implemented and monitored through interministerial work.
Corporal punishment is prohibited in all settings, including the home.