How to involve children in decision making?

Four of our Child Rights Ambassadors took part in the 13th Forum on the Rights of the Child between 29 September and 1 October: find out how children can participate in decision-making.

The European Commission is working on two major programs for children, setting out a strategy for 2021-2024 on how the EU and member states can best protect child rights. They are also developing an initiative called the Child Guarantee to give children in the EU access to services that give them equal opportunities for growing and to develop their abilities. This year’s forum was part of this consultation process.

The main topics of the forum included combating violence against children, child-friendly law enforcement, the state of education, the responsibility of societies towards children and the difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Representing the child participants, a member of the Eurochild Children’s Council gave a closing speech emphasizing that decisions for children cannot be made without them. It is time to make child participation part of the process in all cases.

He said that even if mistakes are made in the implementation of child participation, it is still much better than not involving children at all as we can only develop together. This forum was an important step in the participation of children; this direction must be continued, and more and more children must be involved every year. Please find the full closing speech on the following link in English.

The children’s views

As part of the strategy development, in collaboration with five international organizations (Eurochild, UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision International, Child Fund) a questionnaire was prepared for children so that they can express their views and influence the above programs. The questionnaire was also available in Hungarian until October 30, 2020. We wrote more about the consultation for children here.

The children’s views are summarized in a report that the organizations will share with the European Commission at the end of November. The report, Strategy and Child Guarantee will be publicly available.

(Featured) image from here.