Rationale and Scope
Why a European Child Safety Alliance?
We have already identified that injury is the greatest killer of children throughout Europe, and that something can be done to control and reduce unintentional and intentional injuries if proven prevention strategies are well implemented. There are a number of national programmes dedicated to child injury prevention throughout Europe that are making steady progress to enhance children's safety, yet injury is not restricted to geographic borders.
Everyday Europe is becoming more of a global community, and this has an effect on injury hazards, injuries themselves and the efforts to reduce them at the European level. Even though the burden of injuries has a different profile in each Member State and is influenced by various social, economic, political and cultural factors, united efforts and compassion around a common goal to reduce childhood injury throughout Europe have enhanced impact for all in the European Region and contributed to world-wide advancement for injury prevention and safety promotion.
Therefore to have a European Alliance to collectively address injury, it must acknowledge and respect the differences among European countries and have the flexibility to be easily adjusted on a national level, but operate Europe wide.
A coordinated approach to child injury prevention in Europe addresses the following needs:
- The need for a coordinated plan of action among Member States to reduce child injury, as this would create synergy and the needed critical mass to move the issue forward.
- The responsibility for equitable levels of safety for all European children that complies with the United Nations Charter of the Rights for Children.
- The need for consistency of healthy public policies across Member States, as this would assist in reducing childhood injuries throughout Europe.
- The need to share what works to reduce injuries across Member States and enable transfer of good practice between settings and countries.
- The need to develop comparable standardised national data collection systems that provide timely, comprehensive and comparable injury data across Member States, in order to effectively monitor the health issue nationally and at the European level.
- The need for the same level of safety standards for child related products and services to be made available between and within countries. Consumers currently make purchases or access services expecting the same level of safety in all countries, but this is not the case. All Europeans have a right to an equitable and base level of safety.
The Alliance will concentrate on strategies that will assist in the reduction of unintentional and intentional injury related deaths and disability amongst children 0 to 17 years of age in the Europe.
For the period 2010 to 2015, there will be an emphasis on actions to begin to reduce inequities between Member States including initiating and enhancing capacity especially in Central and Eastern Europe. We will concentrate on promoting the wider application of safety practices that are proven to be effective.
The scope of work will include the areas of:
- Education and advocacy for the uptake of evidence-based good practices
- Accident and risk factor analysis
- Product safety and technology
- Standardisation and enforcement advocacy
- Capacity building through strategic development of national action plans
The European Child Safety Alliance's primary audiences are European and national decision makers, leaders, and practitioners who can influence healthy public policy, standards, and product/environment designs to reduce deaths and injuries of children 0 to 17 years of age.
In partnership with the national child safety agencies in each Member State, promotion of information on good practices will also be communicated to parents, caregivers, decision makers, and national media to increase awareness and knowledge of current childhood injury issues.