Hintalovon Child Rights Ambassadors highlighted children’s perspectives and spoke up for their more vulnerable peers on the ChiLLS conference, on 20 October 2020. Using their enhanced capacities and opportunities, they prepared campaign materials to raise awareness about the situation of children who do not speak the language of the proceedings.
The voices of highly vulnerable children are rarely heard. Children who have been in direct experience with interpreter-mediated hearings in legal settings were interviewed in Belgium and Italy. Child Rights Ambassadors – who participated in other parts of the project – helped them reach out to a greater audience and prepared an awareness-raising campaign.
Four Child Rights Ambassadors worked on this campaign voluntarily. Children controlled the process and Hintalovon’s mentors served as facilitators rather than leaders. In the end, a social media toolkit, posters and a video were developed.
Child Rights Ambassadors talked about this process in the final conference as follows.
I still can’t speak English very well. But I could feel my voice has a power and my opinion matters. We learned, researched and thought a lot about this project. We worked all summer together, we got a free hand, and got a free voice to use our knowledgeViktória Botos
This collection of interviews gave us an insight into what these children think and what happens to them when they are in a foreign country, going through legal procedures. (…) Having read the interviews, I could be in their place, and even though we’re alike in many aspects, we find ourselves in very different situations. We also came across shocking statistics that illustrate these children’s situation. We felt that we have a responsibility to raise awareness and use the opportunity we were given.Lili Juhász
We used extreme examples, extreme life situations and compared them to each other. We started thinking about how different the situation of a child can be, and how many kids can live a life with everyday struggles. With this we would like to achieve that adults pay attention to the fact that this can be challenging to the kids that are involved in a procedure in another languageRebeka Kerék
Lear more about the methodology of child participation in the Chills project here.
Think of us as children
The slogan of children’s campaign was ‘Think of us as children’. Viktória Botos, Child Rights Ambassador explained its background as follows:
“We need attention, information, help, trust and understanding. These aren’t always given when we talk to an adult who speaks the same language, are rare when we talk to a stranger, and are the most difficult to achieve when we talk to an adult stranger who doesn’t speak our language and only does his/her job. That’s why we have chosen this sentence as our slogan.”
The materials were uploaded to the Chills website (www.chills-research.eu) and distributed on international professional forums, social media and in the project partners’ network.
Children’s presentation can be watched online at www.chills-research.eu.
The ChiLLS project was funded by the DG Justice of the European Union Commission (JUST-JACC-AG-2017).