Child-friendly materials to help children understand their rights

Professionals and adults have a great responsibility in informing children about their rights in legal settings. Child-friendly materials support them in making children understand what will happen to them, who will they meet, and what should and should not be done by these people or authorities.

As part of the ChiLLS project, various child-friendly leaflets have been developed, including stories, flowcharts and information sheets. They aim to assist adults in providing comprehensive and easy-to-understand information to children, and bring together the most important information about criminal proceedings, asylum proceedings and interpreter-mediated communication. Although these tools can be used on their own, they primarily aim to support a discussion between a child and an adult. The topics draw upon the needs identified in previous research, and offer a compass for children of various ages. Divided among the project partners, their original versions were written in English.

The child-friendly materials are based on international regulations, with special regard to EU Directives (2010/64/EU, 2012/13/EU, 2013/48/EU, 2012/29/EU, 2016/800/EU), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Council of Europe, UNICEF, UNHCR, EASO, and FRONTEX guidelines. It is important to bear in mind that national regulations might differ from country to country, depending on its membership status, ratification and/or derogations.

Children were consulted on the content and design of the child-friendly materials in Hungary, in spring 2020. Facilitated by Hintalovon Foundation, eight children took part in the testing, the feedback from which was incorporated in the final versions.

We encourage you to share these materials with parents or children directly. The child-friendly ChiLLS materials are copyrighted but available for translation and reproduction. If you would like to translate and adapt them to your local language, please contact us!

Child-friendly materials:

  • Who supports you? – This paper helps younger children to understand the role of the most important professionals and also gives them an idea whom they can turn to.
  • Why does my age matter? – This information leaflet helps to understand the aim and process of age assessment in asylum proceedings.
  • What are your rights? – In this child-friendly material, the relevant EU directives are explained in 4 points, highlighting the role of lawyers, interpreters and special assurances that make sure children are respected in criminal proceedings.
  • I did not know then… Now I know! – This material tells the story of an unaccompanied minor who is rescued at the Mediterranean Sea. While meeting the autorities and settling down, the child learns about his or her rights.
  • Civil lawsuit – This flowchart illustrates the course of a civil proceeding for children, starting from where the problem occurs to the final verdict of the court.
  • Criminal procedure – This material illustrates the course of a criminal proceeding through a flowchart, and wants to help professionals in explaining its main steps for children.
  • Asylum procedure – This flowchart illustrates the course of an asylum proceeding for unaccompanied minors.
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